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-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: New York Jets third-round pick Ashtyn Davis out of Cal. (Image Source: Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
The New York Jets had nine picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, including three Day 2 selections. As we take the Jets “Off the Clock,” we’ll breakdown all nine of their draft picks, continuing with the first of their two third-round choices:
Round 3; Pick 4 (68th Overall): S Ashtyn Davis, Cal
Measurables: Built more like a cornerback than a safety, Davis checks in at 6’1” and 202 pounds with 9 3/8” hands and short arms (30 ½”). A groin injury kept the Cal man from performing at the NFL Scouting Combine, which is too bad because he was a four-time track and field All-American and a Pac-12 Champion.
Skill Set: With his fleetness of foot, it’s no surprise that Davis has displayed the ability to cover a lot of ground, as well as elite makeup speed in coverage. He’s explosive and quick with excellent footwork. A former corner, he’s also blessed with outstanding ball skills and timing. Not just a cover safety, Davis is also a solid run contributor who is known for delivering a big hit.
Value: Projected to go on Day 2, no one would have blinked an eye had Davis gone in the middle of the second round. He went off the board when he was supposed to.
Need: The Jets went into the draft with their starting safeties in place, as Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye enter their fourth season in the NFL. Safety wasn’t a major need but depth at the position is lacking and the secondary could use an upgrade.
Mogollon’s Pick: It would have been hard for me to pass up the value with Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones, who slid into the third round after many projected the Cougar would go late in the first round. Many believe he’ll end up at guard where he could have played alongside Mekhi Becton for years to come.
Who Else Did They Pass Up? Ten players were selected in between New York’s two third-round picks. In addition to Jones, LSU’s Damien Lewis (No. 69) and Ohio State’s Jonah Jackson (No. 75) could have improved the interior of their offensive line. Cornerback was a bigger need than safety and Iowa’s Michael Ojemudia went off the board at No. 77.
2020 Outlook & Beyond: Davis has a chance to be a major contributor for the Jets right off the bat. For starters, he can be a special teams star, both as a return man and a gunner. On defense, the former Golden Bear has flashed the ability to handle duties as a nickel safety and cover the slot. With rumors that the Jets could trade Maye, it appears general manager Joe Douglas wants to pair Davis at free safety with strong safety Adams. A speedy, athletic cover safety, Davis has the skills to complement Adams, who does his best work near the line of scrimmage. If Maye is moved in the offseason, Davis could be in line to start as a rookie.
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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