NFL Draft Notebook | Jets Pounced When Opportunities Bounced Their Way


Defensive lineman Micheal Clemons was the 117th player chosen by the Jets on the third and final day of the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas on Saturday.

In the numbers game, however, Clemons has a closer connection to the number 12. First, he’s the 12th player from Texas A&M ever drafted by the Jets and he’s among some notable company. Second, he’s from the “12th man” school, part of a stirring tale that dates to 1922, 100 years ago.

Clemons (6-5, 270) is the second defensive lineman drafted by the Jets this year, joining Jermaine Johnson II who the Jets nabbed by trading up on Day 1 to take a third player in the first round. With the addition of Johnson, Clemons and Solomon Thomas signed in free agency — plus the return of Carl Lawson from last year’s season-ending injury — coordinator Jeff Ulbrich and the rest of the Green & White has to be feeling good.

General manager Joe Douglas said that the Jets were drawn to Clemons’ toughness and his physical prowess. Clemons is long and strong, and progressed each of his four seasons in College Station, TX. He had 13 QB hurries last season, 3 in a victory over Alabama. He finished the season with 7.5 sacks.

“I’m really excited to get up there and am extremely grateful to the organization,” Clemons told reporters early Saturday afternoon. “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.”

With that 117th pick, the Jets draft brain trust was finished before lunch time. The team’s seven picks added talent and depth, and was judged by many observers to be among the best drafts among the league’s 32 teams. Douglas, though, was not as quick to pronounce the Jets’ 2022 draft class a success … yet.

“Ultimately, it’s hard to judge a draft, you don’t really know for three years,” he said. “Before we judge or put anything on these guys, you have to realize that they all develop at a different rate. The last two years we’ve felt like a few things bounced our way too. But we’ve made the most of opportunities adding quality players and now we will see how it plays out. Nothing ever goes perfectly in terms of the draft.”

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