Blewett's Blitz, Jermaine Johnson, New York Jets, Florida State, 2022 NFL draft
Blewett's Blitz, Jermaine Johnson, New York Jets, Florida State, 2022 NFL draft, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Jermaine Johnson has a chance to become the New York Jets’ answer at edge rusher

The New York Jets have had a gaping hole at edge rusher for nearly two decades (hello, John Abraham). General manager Joe Douglas thought he may have had the answer in the 2021 offseason, landing big fish Carl Lawson in free agency.

Unfortunately, as Jets fans are well aware, this constitutes one of the fan bases that “cannot have nice things.” Lawson tearing his Achilles before he took any meaningful snaps for the Jets reaffirmed that harsh yet excruciating honest public service announcement.

Multiple injuries to Lawson’s lower half have fans wondering if he can fulfill his status as a dominant Jets edge rusher.

The full Jermaine Johnson member-only film breakdown (over one hour and forty minutes in length) can be seen at the bottom of this article (if you're a subscriber and logged into the site). 

While Lawson is a question mark, the Jets did go for depth for the second-straight offseason—adding Jacob Martin and retaining Vinny Curry, the latter of whom also missed the entirety of the 2021 NFL season. But both veterans represent more of a supplemental piece rather than a true answer.

Enter Florida State product Jermaine Johnson, a player who I was “popularly” or “unpopularly” (depending on who you ask) undervalued based on the 2022 NFL draft consensus big board.

The consensus tabbed Johnson as a “top-10 lock,” which I felt came more from Senior Bowl hype than actual game tape. It’s an idea (the Senior Bowl surge) I always caution against, especially since this game is tailor-made for defensive ends and wide receivers to stand out far beyond other positions. 

While I didn’t feel Jermaine Johnson was a top 10 player, there is a huge difference between pick No. 4 or 10 and being able to land the kid at No. 26. 

  • Could Jermaine Johnson be the New York Jets’ answer at EDGE?
  • Why was he not worth a top-10 pick yet a slam dunk at No. 26?
  • How does he project in his rookie year?
  • What does he have to improve to become a successful NFL edge rusher?

All of this is discussed in this edition of Blewett’s Blitz. Plus, a detailed Jermaine Johnson strengths and weaknesses list, as well as the full film breakdown (over 1:40:00 in length) can be found below.

YouTube clip and podcast episode

Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths

  • Length
  • Burst off the line
  • Stacks blockers well in the run game
  • Pop in hands
  • Power
  • Effort
  • Smart in the run game, reads and misdirection
  • Sets strong edge
  • Lateral agility
  • Active hands
  • Uses length in the run game
  • Rush moves include swipes, chops, bull-jerk, spins, long arms, leaping chop/swipes, double swipes
  • Tackle radius
  • Snap timing/coil
  • Quick
  • Ankle flexion
  • Motor
  • Sheds violently in the run game
  • Brings thump as a tackler
  • Uses length well in the run game

Weaknesses

  • Inconsistent leverage
  • Needs more direct bull rush angles
  • Lacks consistent pass rush plan
  • Needs to eat up more ground while trying to soften rush angles
  • Good but not great athlete (Bend/twitch)
  • Not sure what his calling card is
  • Raw in many pass rush aspects
  • Needs to be more forceful with his hands as a pass rusher
  • Rarely saw him take the inside as a rusher
  • Needs to use an array of pass rush moves more often
  • Can force spin moves
  • Can struggle to disengage once engaged
  • Hand placement can be high and wide
  • Too often relies on short strides/crossovers as he approaches offensive lineman
  • Bull-rush cut short because of leverage
  • Little tight as he corners
  • Can read tackles set more consistently
  • Average flexibility
  • Can work on control on stunts

Full Jermaine Johnson member-only film breakdown (over 1:40:00 in length)

To view the full-subscriber breakdown, you must be a Jets X-Factor member and logged in.

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You may know Joe Blewett from his wildly-popular film breakdowns and podcasts on websites including Turn on the Jets and Jet Nation. His ability to analyze film is second to none. From a player on the field in high school (FS/CB/WR/RB) to working with former NFL players including Marcus Coleman and Erik McMillan, as well as many hours of studying, Joe brings a rare level of expertise to his content. Joe is currently hosting Blewett’s Blitz, bringing player and game film breakdowns and podcasts (video and audio). Email: joe.blewett[at]jetsxfactor.com

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