Micheal Clemons
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets expect Sauce Gardner to be their top cornerback. Wideout Garrett Wilson figures to be a huge part of the offense. The same goes for running back Breece Hall. And defensive end Jermaine Johnson will see the field plenty as well.

But what under-the-radar rookies could also contribute in 2022? Two names come to mind.

OT Max Mitchell (Round 4, Louisiana)

There are question marks regarding Mekhi Becton, his weight-related issues, and his recovery from last September’s season-ending knee injury. There are additional concerns with George Fant, his own recovery from knee surgery, and whether last year’s promising performance at left tackle was a career outlier.

Thanks to these issues, the Jets needed to add a reserve swing tackle via the draft. They did so by selecting Max Mitchell.


There’s no confirming whether Becton or Fant will be able to stay on the field, and depth on the offensive line is crucial. This is especially the case when a young quarterback like Zach Wilson is under center.

If Becton or Fant isn’t a consistently reliable or available option, Mitchell could find playing time in 2022.

DE Micheal Clemons (Round 4, Texas A&M)

A consistent pass rush is key for the Jets defense. This ideology was supported by the 2021 signing of Carl Lawson, the 2021 contract extension of John Franklin-Myers, and the 2022 drafting of Johnson.

The Jets will need all the help they can get in this department to soften the blow for the secondary, which includes various new faces (Gardner, safety Jordan Whitehead, and cornerback D.J. Reed).

This is where Micheal Clemons comes in alongside the aforementioned defensive ends.

Clemons could find himself a part of a rotation that must disrupt opposing quarterbacks. There are some pass rushers he’ll need to bypass for playing time though, including Bryce Huff and Jacob Martin.

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Ryan Honey is a senior NFL analyst, betting writer, and podcaster for Elite Sports NY. He hosts the Wide Right Podcast, which serves as both a New York Giants podcast and sports betting show.