Jermaine Johnson, 4.28 (2022 NFL Draft – Round One, Pick 26)
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DJ Bien-Aime, New York Daily News: How does this moment feel knowing that you started off at a junior college, then transferred from Georgia to now being a first round pick?
It feels amazing man. The journey was so long and hard, but it was so rewarding at the same time. To be able to be selected in the first round and to be able to be on the Jets, like I’m so excited. When I met and visited with the Jets, it was a family feel. We clicked instantly and they said they’d come get me and that’s what they did. I’m so excited to come there and work.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Jermaine, when they didn’t take you at 10, did you kind of start thinking like maybe it wasn’t going to happen with the Jets? Or did you remain confident they were going to trade back up and try to get you?
I wasn’t really sure, but I mean they said they’d come get me and that’s what they ended up doing. I never got beside myself or anything. I was just excited, reminding myself I’m in the green room, I’m in the NFL Draft, it was just an amazing time and I’m so glad the Jets came and got me.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Jermaine, what do you consider the strength to your game?
How equal my game is. I don’t really have any deficiencies in my game in my opinion, it’s really even. I’m not going to be a guy that can play the run but can’t rush the passer or rush the passer but get stoned in the run. I can do it all and I’m excited to bring that to New York.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: Do you think the transfer helped your draft stock?
I’m not sure, but I know that it was extremely rewarding, and I was able to give something to another program in Florida State other than just making plays or on the field stuff, I was able to give more and leave a lasting impression there. That was what was awesome for it for me.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: You’re joining a pretty solid defensive line now with Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, Quinnen Williams, Sheldon Rankins. Do you know any of those guys? I know it’s pretty immediate that you’re a Jet, but have any of those guys reached out to you yet?
I haven’t looked at my phone since I’ve been selected. I’m not sure, but I’m sure that they have. I don’t know any of them right now, but like you said, it’s a pretty loaded room and I’m excited to be a part of that group.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Jermaine, there were so many projections that had you going pretty high. As 10 passed with the Jets and the time went, what was that like for you? Was that kind of an anxiety period at all? What’s going on in your mind when you’re sitting there?
No, I’m strong in my faith. I’m a religious man and I know that I was going to be where I was supposed to be. Sure enough, I’m with the Jets now and I’m where I’m supposed to be.
Brian Costello, New York Post: What was it about your visit with the Jets or what was it about the time in your pre-draft process that made you think this was a fit?
It was just how they made me feel I was wanted and how it was just reciprocated, how we felt about the game, about defense, about how it’s supposed to be played. Everything was clicking and from everybody, from Joe Douglas to the GA’s. Everyone had the same idea of me and it was awesome to be in an organization like that.
Brian Costello, New York Post: What do you think the Senior Bowl with the Jets coaching staff meant to this, what was that experience like working with them there?
I actually was on the Lions team, and then I left early. So, I actually never got to work with the staff. When I went on my top 30 visit, we definitely had a blast and we were hanging out having a good time, for sure.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: What do you make of the defense that the Jets run? Obviously, Robert Saleh is very, very heavy duty on the front, defensive front. How does that fit for you?
It fits perfect, it fits perfect and vice versa. I’m excited to go in there and work and just be the best teammate I can be, be Jermaine Johnson. I’m excited to get there and be Jermaine.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: What was your phone call like with Robert Saleh just now when they put him on the phone?
It was awesome. He said, “What did I tell you? What did I tell you when you left my office?” I said that you guys would come and get me. And he’s like, “I didn’t lie, we came and got you. We’ve been trying to get you all night.” So, it was pretty awesome.
Joey Chandler, NJ Advance Media: You mentioned you just have to go there and be Jermaine Johnson. So, who is Jermaine Johnson? What does that mean?
You can look at my journey. I like to say my journey really speaks to my character, just how long it was, all the obstacles I had to overcome. And, more importantly, me not giving up. That’s just my nature, I’m competitive in everything and obvious I’m competitive in life. I’m excited to bring that competitive nature to the New York Jets.