If you think about it, clinching is really the same thing as irimi nage, except a little closer than what we typically are used to. You can irimi...then tenkan in the clinch placing your opponent between you and the "multiple".
In that respect, I agree. The way you decribe irimi nage... From standing? Definitely. Then it makes total sense. Keep keep the opponent between you and the other attacker. But escape the mount, then get in a clinch on the ground? If there's another attacker?
If I get in a tied up with one attacker on the ground, trying for an armbar, i lose focus on the other person maybe. Thats why I start to think escape, then get clear.