Texas A&M defensive lineman Michael Clemons, the Jets’ seventh and final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, has signed a rookie contract with the Green & White.
Clemons (6-5, 263) was selected in the fourth round (No. 117 overall) after notching 7 sacks, 11 TFLs, 1 forced fumble and 2 pass defenses in 10 games (9 starts) during the Aggies’ 2021 season. In his A&M career, he played in 39 games (25 starts) and totaled 93 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 21 TFLs, 1 FF and 2 PDs.
“I feel like he’s one of the nastier players in the entire draft,” general manager Joe Douglas said. “His physicality, the edge that he plays with, the toughness that he brings, we do n’t think you can have enough of that on this team.”
Clemons, 24, was the second edge rusher the Jets added in this year’s draft. Douglas engineered a trade to move back into the first round and then select Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II with the No. 26 picks. The two rookies join a position group that has been strengthened with the signing in free agency of Jacob Martin and Solomon Thomas, and the impending return of Carl Lawson, a signing in free agency in 2021 who sustained an Achilles tendon injury in the preseason that forced him to sit out all 17 games. The team also re-signed DT Nathan Shepherd to a one-year deal.
“I’m really excited to get up there and extremely grateful to the organization,” Clemons said after receiving news he had been selected by the Green & White. “I did an interview with the Jets just so they could get to know me as a person. We talked football and I knew they had some interest, but I didn’t know whether or not they had this much interest.”
Add Clemons to the list of players the Jets had the opportunity to meet and greet up close during January’s Senior Bowl, when the coaching staff oversaw the National team, but also interacted with most of the players who participated in the week of practice leading up to the game.
“We feel the talent level is obviously high,” Douglas told SNY. “What he brings from a length, toughness and speed off the edge, certainly you can say he’s a first, second-day talent level. You get to a certain point in the draft where risk is mitigated. Felt good about that and where we added him.”