When the New York Jets turned in the No. 117 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL draft, no one really batted an eye.
However, after just one singular Clemons press conference, the fan base simultaneously fell in love and was scared for their lives.
Micheal Clemons Is an Incredibly Intimidating Individual
Clemons is listed on the official roster at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds and those numbers don’t quite do him justice.
This photo of Clemons went viral this week because of the evil sith lord vibes from Clemons wearing a hoodie in what was incredibly warm weather during practice:
— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) September 21, 2022
Just to paint the picture of the pure intensity in the room when Clemons and other people are in it, here is a clip from a summer press conference where things got spicy:
When it becomes clear that Micheal Clemons’ teammates aren’t actually calling him by his new nickname, but you just did. (Love the intensity from Clemons, who has been fun to watch in camp. But probably not going to watch Friday for a little while.) pic.twitter.com/5dxqsPGIev
— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) August 19, 2022
With all of that in mind, special teams coordinator Brant Boyer was recently asked about his thought process behind putting a player of that size on special teams.
“Well uhm the thinking is I wouldn’t want to block him, if I had to block him and that’s kind of the thinking there. Then put him in positions where he’s going to have little guys trying to block him and that’s not a very good matchup. So that’s kind of why I put him there. It all comes down to do you have like an enforcer kind of a guy and people use them all over the league. Where you have a real tough guy that they have to double team and stuff like that. Those are really important positions if you can put a guy there that demands a double team all the time then it frees up people on the inside.”
#Jets ST coordinator Brant Boyer was asked his thinking behind putting DL Micheal Clemons (@MichealClemonss) on kickoff coverage, ‘well the thinking is I wouldn’t want to block him if I had to block him’ ? + called him the ‘enforcer’ at 6-foot-5, 270 ?: ? @nyjets #TakeFlight pic.twitter.com/vYF81S9lRM
— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) September 23, 2022
That is an explanation that makes plenty of sense to me.
Micheal Clemons off to a Slow Start
Clemons raised a lot of eyebrows in training camp and the preseason with his explosive plays.
None were bigger than the massive smack he laid on New York Giants backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor during the preseason finale:
After #Jets DL Micheal Clemons (@MichealClemonss) laid out #Giants QB Tyrod Taylor in the preseason finale, teammate Quinnen Williams (@QuinnenWilliams) called him, ‘an animal’ ?: ? @nyjets #TakeFlight #1JD #TogetherBlue pic.twitter.com/tjtDepWVUT
— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) September 1, 2022
However, the talented defender has not found that same success during the regular season. Part of that may be due to a lack of opportunities.
According to Pro Football Focus, Clemons only has one tackle and two pressures on 47 snaps. Those were further broken down as 26 run defense snaps and 21 pass rush opportunities.
While things may have not popped yet, there is a lot of optimism inside and outside the building that Clemons could prove to be one of the biggest steals of April’s draft.
Head coach Robert Saleh praised the rookie for his versatility. Clemons has been learning multiple positions on the defensive line throughout the offseason.
A coach once told me, the more things you can do on the football field, the more attractive you’re as a player. In other words, the more you can do, the more you can get on the field.
Clemons brings a level of nasty that the front office believes will be infectious to the rest of the room. When you combine that with his varied skillset, you have the makings of a pretty dangerous pass rusher.
Saleh likes to use a rotation on his defensive line so Clemons is going to get reps. Also, I’d imagine the deeper we get into this season, the more comfortable the young man will get which will also increase his floor and potential ceiling.
This content was originally published here.