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Micheal Clemons

Preseason Scouting Notes: Micheal Clemons, Edge, Texas A&M

Redshirt Senior | 6’5” 270 lbs | Garland, TX

 

A long and athletic 4-3 defensive end with NFL size who needs to improve as a pass rusher

 

Overview:

A 3-star JUCO transfer and 19th overall ranked JUCO player out of Northeast Texas, Micheal Clemons unfortunately hasn’t had much college football under his belt. 2017 was Clemons’s last season where he played a full season, so he is still raw as a football player. Transfer rules in high school put his junior year on hold, but mostly injuries have kept him from seeing the field. In Mike Elko’s defensive scheme, Clemons lined up as a 4-3 defensive end in either a 4- or 3-point stance, while being taken off the field on 3-4 looks. 

Strengths:

– Good tackler. Opponents rarely slips through his grasp. Strong wrap up technique limits yards after contact
– Possesses NFL size and length with solid athletic ability. Decent coverage rep on the flat against Travis Etienne
– Solid hand fighting skills to get opponent’s hands off his chest
– High motor, tracking ball to various areas of the field
– Quickness off the snap and first step depth as a rusher, quick to penetrate on inside gap and effect running back’s aiming point
– High energy and effort on 3rd downs and in the 4th quarter
– Displays length and flashes strength to set the edge

Areas to improve:

– Faces the POA with head down often, effecting his hand placement
– No power on his punch and plays with high pad level
– Hasn’t displayed any bend ability when attacking outside and could add more pass rush moves to his belt. Overall raw ability as a pass rusher, hardly gets in to the backfield to apply pressure
– Minimal use of length vs offensive tackles
– Struggles against chop blocks
– Struggles shedding blocks from those with a strong grip, late to shed run blocks overall

– Despite the strength to stalemate, rarely does much to close the hole 
– Late timing of the snap and not as quick on the release. Endurance played a factor against quick offenses
– Recognizing and reacting on down blocks and split zone, and is passive when facing split zone/pulls
– Looks to go rogue at times, ignoring edge responsibility

Injury concerns:

– Undisclosed injury in 2019 (missed 2 games)
– Foot injury in fall camp, missed entire 2018 season
– Unknown absence in 2016 (missed 3 games)
– Groin injury in 2015 (senior year in high school), only played in 2 games

Projection:

Clemons has the size, length and flash of hand usage that teams could take a chance on as a late Day 3 pick or as a PFA. If given the opportunity to attend an NFL camp, his athleticism will help him contribute on special teams until he can further refine his skills as a push rusher and get better at shedding blocks. Clemons’s best fit is with an even-front team that allows their edge rushers to attack their assigned gap and potentially get pressure when unblocked. In addition, patience is a necessity to develop his skill set. He’ll need to get bulkier if to be used as an odd front type of player, though that wouldn’t do him justice. Clemons is an intriguing prospect to say the least.

What to watch in 2020:

The injury bug has bitten Clemons frequently during his football career. Conditioning and staying healthy should be one of the top priorities in 2020 for him. Last season was a good start to build on, having only missed 2 games after missing all of the 2018 campaign. He’ll need to get better at keeping his head up right before engaging opponents, that alone should help improve his hand placement. To really stand out and be effective, Clemons would need to show more improvement and consistency on his hand usage in the passing game along with finding a plan to counter. He hasn’t been much of a factor in the run game when the aiming point is away for him, so hopefully he added strength to blow up blocks and got better at shedding them. Is his high pad level a result of his size, lack of flexibility at his hips, or something else?