Jets Sign Round 1 DE Jermaine Johnson

The Jets are doing the heavy lifting in their rookie deals first. After agreeing to terms with No. 4 overall pick Sauce Gardner, the Jets have signed the third of their first-rounders — Jermaine Johnson — to his four-year rookie contract.

Johnson, who can be controlled through 2026 via the fifth-year option, will be tied to a fully guaranteed deal. Projected to go off the board earlier than he did, at No. 26, the Florida State product will be tasked with boosting a Jets edge rush that has been one of the NFL’s least effective position groups over the past decade and change.

[RELATED: Jets, Gardner Agree To Rookie-Deal Terms]

Famously lacking an impact edge presence since the 2006 John Abraham trade, the Jets are now positioned to have Johnson and Carl Lawson. The latter is coming off a season-nullifying Achilles tear. He will now team with one of this draft’s best defensive end prospects.

Transferring from Georgia to Florida State last year, Johnson registered a career-high 11.5 sacks to go along with 17.5 tackles for loss last season. ESPN ranked Johnson as the No. 14 overall prospect, but he slid to the mid-20s, opening the door for the Jets to trade back into Round 1 for him. The Jets sent the Titans second-, third- and fifth-round picks to move up for Johnson, who will join Gardner in attempting to help a defense that ranked 32nd in both points and yardage in 2021.

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