Does New York Jets’ rookie safety Ashtyn Davis make Marcus Maye expendable?

New York Jets, Ashtyn Davis
Oct 26, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; California safety Ashtyn Davis (27) looks towards the stands before the Golden Bears face the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gabe Mayberry-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Jets drafted Ashtyn Davis in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft, most people didn’t know much about him. Davis is a blazing fast safety who left his mark at Cal, Playing in 11 games as a senior last season, tallying 55 total tackles, two interceptions, four passes defended, and two forced fumbles.

I believe Davis has the ability to adapt to a free safety position, but I don’t think he is capable of being a single high-style safety. He has the mobility and excellent speed, but his anticipation and ability to diagnose plays can be delayed.

Nonetheless, he has the tangible traits to continue developing into a quality player, possibly supplanting Marcus Maye at the position.

Jim McGill of told New York

“Ashtyn has a unique blend of speed and power and strength and athleticism that you just love to see in a defensive back,” McGill told‘s Olivia Landis. “He’s long at 6’1″, he’s got good size at 200 pounds. And to be able to move that quickly at that size is a huge benefit for a safety.”

“Ashtyn’s a really unique guy. His back story growing up in Santa Cruz [CA], he had a lot of challenges he had to deal with and he’s always been a very focused invididual,” McGill said. “He’s just a guy that works really hard. … He had a lot of support throughout his collegeiate career and he’s taken that work ethic to the next level. Jets fans, I think, will see a guy who’s going to outwork virtually anybody on that roster.”

Aside from his physical abilities, Davis is a hard-working player that’s been around the block. He will bring tenacity and confidence to the Jets’ secondary, and his competitive nature will allow him to compete for a potential starting gig down the line.
The factors I love most about Davis is his motor and fearlessness dropping into the box and playing against the run. While his size might not indicate he can play a strong safety position, he might be better suited in two high-safety looks and moving up closer to the line of scrimmage. His tackling technique is solid and is incredibly tough, which says to me that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will likely aggressively utilize him.
With that being said, I don’t believe he will steal Maye’s position, simply because he doesn’t have the ball skills and coverage ability compared to the fourth-year player. Nonetheless, they can both earn starting reps and influence the team in a positive way.