Jermaine Johnson Pro Bowl nod could make 2022 best NY Jets draft class ever

Joe Douglas nailed it in 2021
New York Jets v Cleveland Browns
New York Jets v Cleveland Browns / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

While it's easy to make fun of the NY Jets and GM Joe Douglas for shoddy roster construction and performance, the get-out-of-jail-free card Douglas can always pull whenever he is faced with doubters is the 2022 draft class. The Jets picked up Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Jermaine Johnson, and Breece Hall in a 40-pick span.

While Gardner is as good a cornerback as there is in the league, and the Wilson/Hall dynamic duo was the only reason the Jets didn't get shut out every game, Johnson has flown a bit under the radar. On a loaded defense without TJ Watt-level sack numbers, it can be easy to miss No. 11.

Johnson did take some steps forward, increasing his pressure rate and getting his sacks up from 2.5 to 7.5 this year. Considering his excellent run defense and penchant for making timely plays (see the Eagles game), Johnson was honored as an elite defensive end.

Johnson was named to the Pro Bowl Games as a replacement for Los Angeles Chargers stud Khalil Mack. For all of Douglas' faults, landing four Pro Bowl talents on four consecutive picks in the same draft is a feat even the best GMs are incapable of doing.

2022 NY Jets draft gets even more elite with Jermaine Johnson Pro Bowl

1977 remains the best draft class in Jets history to this point. While stealing Hall of Famer Joe Klecko in the sixth round was a tremendous coup for them, the first two picks they used were four-time All-Pro offensive tackle Marvin Powell and Pro Bowl wide receiver Wesley Walker. Dan Alexander, who started 183 games with the Jets as a guard, was picked 200th overall.

2022 has a ways to go, but it's hard to imagine hitting on four consecutive picks as Douglas did. Gardner is probably the best cornerback in the NFL already, Wilson's talent is so immense that he topped 1,000 yards twice in a row with CFL quarterback play, and Hall is already a top 10 (at worst) running back in the NFL.

Johnson doesn't have as many splash plays as those three, but his consistency every game has to be what Saleh values most in him after making a Year 2 leap. Johnson is only going to get stronger and more comfortable in this scheme as he keeps progressing.

Douglas is a questionable drafter, as he's seemingly whiffed on his prior two first-rounders, and Will McDonald is still a question mark. His history of late-round hits has been spotty. However, he'll always have 2022 under his belt, as picks like Johnson speak to his acumen in this area.