Jets ‘Mystery Man’ Rookie Brings ‘Tantalizing Mix of Promise & Concern’

Micheal Clemons

Getty New York Jets defensive end Micheal Clemons could become a boom or bust prospect.

After all the trades, the New York Jets 2022 draft class ended up being smaller than expected. Seven new rookies enter camp with the status of a selected player and one is gaining a ton of attention for his mysterious nature.

ESPN’s Rich Cimini referred to defensive end Micheal Clemons as the “man of intrigue” during his May 15 round-up and what better way to describe him. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound pass rusher looks like a monster on the field, but he also comes with concerns off it.

Cimini highlighted the Texas A&M product in this morning’s article.

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Clemons Is ‘Wired a Bit Differently Than Most’

When Carl Lawson first joined the Jets, fans quickly picked up on his unique personality as they watched him torch OTAs and training camp. The top pass rushers need that edge as part of their mental makeup — and Clemons appears to have it.

“Every draft class has a mystery man,” wrote Cimini. “For the Jets, it’s fourth-round defensive end Michael Clemons (Texas A&M), a tantalizing mix of promise and concern.”

The beat reporter explained: “He produced on the field (ranked 13th out of 470 qualified pass-rushers in pressure percentage on the FBS level), but he comes with age (24), injury, and off-the-field questions. He was arrested last August on charges that included unlawful carrying of a weapon, resulting in a one-game suspension. He also has been cited with various traffic violations on at least five occasions from 2018 to 2021, per Texas court records.”

Clemons has already addressed his college arrest, but it will always take more than words to prove a person has changed. Actions speak louder, although general manager Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh are willing to take the chance.

“On the field, you might say he’s wired a bit differently than most,” Cimini concluded. “Douglas called Clemons ‘one of the nastiest players in the draft,’ with Saleh adding, ‘When he puts a helmet on, he goes to a very dark place.’ If that place happens to be the opponents’ backfield, the Jets will be happy.”

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Clemons Takes Jets Twitter by Storm

Here we are a couple of weeks after the draft and one rookie has dominated Jets Twitter. No, it’s not Garrett Wilson or Breece Hall or Jermaine Johnson II. It’s not Long Island native Jeremy Ruckert or even the charismatic Sauce Gardner.

It’s Clemons and his hulking figure, combined with a personality that is absolutely terrifying for opposing quarterbacks.

“It’s just a switch in me,'” the pass rusher told reporters. “I turn it off when I’m getting ready to be a civilian again. It’s who I am. On the field, animal. When I get off the field, I’m chilling and low-key. As a defensive player, you need that nastiness. That’s definitely one of the biggest assets to my game. I just have to make sure I turn that thing off when I walk off the field.”

He added that he loves power moves. “You make a guy quickly respect you when you hit him in the mouth over and over again. He’s going to be thinking about that all day,” Clemons voiced.

The imposing defensive end even joked that he “was trying to be Brandon Jacobs 2.0” when he started playing football and was a running back in high school. He has the size, but the Jets need more help rushing the passer, so it’s a good thing Clemons didn’t follow in the footsteps of the New York Giants bulldozer.

Fans have flocked to support the new edge rusher on Twitter, with something that you might refer to as ‘Clemons jokes’ — a variation on ‘Dad jokes.’ I’ll leave you with some of the best.

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