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He’s a different kind of cat . . .
Talking about Michael Clemons as a defensive end prospect.
And I’m not talking about his unique personality which has been well documented the last few days. He’s a real intense dude who talks softly and takes long pauses before answering questions.
Talking about his game.
You need to know going in he’s not your quintessential edge-rusher who is going to take the edge with speed and quickness.
If you are expecting that from him, you aren’t being realistic about the prospect.
He’s not a speed rusher. That isn’t his game. He ran a 4.85 forty at the combine.
He’s also not one of those “Gumby” type edges who will bend under offensive tackles.
As former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah put it, “not the most nimble, not the greatest bender.”
So don’t expect this guy to be Von Miller coming off the edge with an elite burst and dipping under offense tackles. Ain’t going to happen.
He goes about his job way differently than that. He wins with strength, power, long arms and a non-stop motor.
He just goes at offensive linemen and beats the heck of them, and wrecks their world with his long arms, great motor and a coterie of pass rush moves.
“When you talk about playing hard, but it isn’t just chasing people in the open field, its that second and third reaction in the pass rush,” said Fox Sports analyst Charles Davis. “That is something people always forget about the great pass rushers – they have a go-to move, they also have a counter and stay with it all the way through and that is what Clemons does.”
In other words, he’s relentless once he engages with offensive linemen. With arms nearly 35 inches, he often gets his mitts on the O-Linemen before they can engage him and that is a huge advantage in the trenches.
“If I have my hands on him, there is no way for him to win if his hands aren’t on me,” Clemons said.
“He gets full arm extension to separate quickly,” wrote NFL Network’s Lance Zeirlein about Clemons.
There was a lot of talk that maybe Clemons should have gone higher in the draft after a terrific career for Texas A&M.
But you know what, teams generally aren’t going to draft defensive linemen like this very high, because they’re usually looking to grab faster defensive ends with more flexibility in the first few rounds, so perhaps the fourth round made sense.
However, that doesn’t mean he won’t be a very productive player for the Jets, if he can stay healthy.
And health might have been another reason he slipped. He had some injury issues in high school and college. Sometimes tightly wound athletes like this have a proclivity to get hurt more.
But if he stays healthy, and the Jets find the ideal role for him that fits his unique skill set, he could turn out to be quite an asset for them.
“With big Mike (Micheal Clemons), I feel like he’s one of the nastiest players in this entire draft,” said Jets GM Joe Douglas. “The physicality, the edge that he plays with, the toughness that he brings. I don’t think you can have enough of that.”
May 10, 2022
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