As the season nears its merciful end, Adam Gase and the New York Jets are running out of defenders due to injury.
In an ironically cruel sense of timing, Adam Gase and the New York Jets are in desperate need of help in the secondary as a matchup with Jamal Adams looms.
Gase had a dire outlook on his secondary’s injury situation, as he began his Friday statements by declaring that safeties Ashtyn Davis (foot) and Bennett Jackson (hamstring) will miss Sunday’s visit to Seattle (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS). Further ailments on the offensive line, including Greg Van Roten (toe) and injured-reserve listee Alex Lewis (non-football), had Gase joking that he was “looking for volunteers” to finish out the season.
“We have a plan as far as if we had anybody go down, we cross-trained multiple guys,” Gase said, per notes from the Jets. When it comes to the defense, Gase said “We do have two guys that have had some experience playing back there that are ready to go if we have any kind of injury.”
Marcus Maye and Matthias Farley are the only current safeties on the roster with NFL experience. Former Giants draft pick Corey Ballentine has mostly worked on special teams, while practice squad reps Saquan Hampton (a Rutgers alum) and Zane Davis could also be considered. First-year defender Elijah Campbell has also been called up to the active roster. Offensively, rookie draft pick Cameron Clark could take over for Van Roten, who has partaken in 93 percent of New York’s offensive snaps this season.
It sets up quite a conundrum for the Jets (0-12), who will be playing the first of four games under interim defensive coordinator Frank Bush on Sunday. Bush, formerly the team’s inside linebackers coach, is taking over for the ousted Gregg Williams, who was let go after a questionable defensive play call at the end of their latest loss, a 31-28 decision at the hands of the Las Vegas Raiders last weekend.
“These kids have always been resilient,” Bush said of his unit this week, per Jets notes. “One of the most unique things about our players is that, when they hit the field, they hit the field running. They come out with the right intent. The attitudes have always been good. I’m yet to see one day when they come out with a bad attitude and we have to push them to go. We just have to make sure they’re going in the right direction.”
Bush and his group did receive a bit of good news as they go into a dangerous matchup with a Seattle offense boasting the talents of Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf: Gase announced on Friday that he expects Bless Austin to return to the lineup alongside rookie Bryce Hall. Austin, another former Scarlet Knight from Piscataway, has struggled to gain momentum after a strong rookie season after spending time on injured reserve with a neck injury. He was activated this week alongside tight end and fellow sophomore Trevon Wesco. Lamar Jackson will serve as a reserve, should Austin make his start as anticipated.
Positives emerged from veterans and rookies alike, but the New York Jets couldn’t end their streak of bad luck against New England.
A lost three-point game against the New England Patriots might’ve been cause for celebration in the Tom Brady years. One could even argue it helps the New York Jets’ draft position. But, at least in the immediate aftermath, heartbreak reigns in East Rutherford.
Nick Folk’s 51-yard field goal as time expired gave capped off a stretch of 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter for the Patriots, who earned their ninth consecutive victory over the Jets in a 30-27 final on Monday at MetLife Stadium. Cam Newton punched in two rushing touchdowns while Rex Burkhead tallied one more. With this loss, the Jets (0-9) have fallen in their first nine games for the first time in franchise history.
ESM looks back on four plays from the Jets’ latest defeat, highlighting one from each quarter that will define their past, present, and future…
Denzel Mims making an impact early during his Monday Night Football debut 😤
Denzel Mims continued to show exactly why he was worth the long wait, getting off to another strong start. The second-round rookie finally had some assistance on his side during Monday’s action, as it marked the first time he was able to work with fellow depth chart-toppers Perriman and Jamison Crowder. Mims helped the Jets get off to a fast start on their opening drive, breaking free from the coverage of Jason McCourty for a second-down catch from Flacco. He would shake off McCourty for extra yardage, totaling 26 before Devin McCourty was there to clean up the mess. His efforts led to a Sergio Castillo field goal that gave the Jets the early lead.
While Mims is off to a strong start, the Jets’ remaining offensive exploits should be centered on trying to get him involved over the entire 60 minutes. Mims set an infantile career-best with 62 receiving yards on the evening, but all of that production came in the first half.
We’ve spoken in this column before about the Jets’ propensity to go for it on fourth down. Entering Monday’s game, they were tied for fifth in the league with 13 attempts (converting four). Defending them, however, has been a bit of another problem. Opponents had gone attempted to go for it on six fourth downs against the Jets this season, the concept often rendered null and void because of one-sided leads. But members of the Jets’ defense got a case to show their stuff against Cam Newton and the Patriots’ offense.
While rookies took center stage on defense during Monday’s proceedings (namely Ashtyn Davis, Bryce Hall, and Bryce Huff), veterans seeking football longevity also had a chance to prove why they’re allowed to stay for the long haul. Anyone calling for the already-ludicrous notion of tanking should be immediately silenced by the efforts of some veterans fighting to extend their careers.
Folorunso Fatukasi is one such veteran. A 2018 sixth-round pick that has been on-and-off the Jets’ roster, Fatukasi made one of the biggest plays of the evening in terms of momentum shifting. The Jets held a 10-7 lead after a 93-yard trek by the offense, but New England was threatening to take it right back with a drive on their own. Facing a fourth-and-one just past the Jets’ 40, they attempted to continue their quest to a potential go-ahead score. Knowing what we know about the Jets’ offense, it may have well been insurmountable for the unit.
Instead, Fatukasi plowed through veteran blocker David Andrews in a backfield invasion, not only bringing down James four yards behind the line of scrimmage but forcing a fumble as well. It was recovered by the Patriots, but the Jets took over on downs and later earned a field goal on the earned possession to go up 13-7.
With Joe Flacco and Frank Gore leading the Jets’ offense, one could be excused for believing we had been transported out of the 2020 nightmare and dragged back to 2012. It was a particularly inspiring performance for Flacco, who threw for 262 yards and three touchdown passes, the last of the latter going to Perriman in the dying stages of the third quarter. It was also the first time he broke the 200-yard plateau this season, and first overall since September of the prior campaign.
While it was nice to see Flacco have some fun, shades of the 2012-13 AFC title game, it raises a question that a lot of Jets fans probably don’t want to have: the Jets’ strongest offensive showing of the season (322 yards of offense) came not with Sam Darnold under center, but the aging Flacco instead. Even if the Jets somehow fall out of the top overall slot, will they need to find a new franchise thrower? Time will only tell, but it’s yet another reason they should not take these final seven games for granted.
Following Perriman’s score, the Jets only touched the ball for only 1:24 more during the fourth quarter. Jakobi Myers was the biggest factor, even when he wasn’t the one catching the ball. With the Patriots (3-5) advancing for the tying score, Davis appeared to make the play of the night on a penalty-induced 1st-and-20, knocking a big gain out of Myers’ hands after a video review. Myers, however, would have his revenge. Not only did a massive block allow Damiere Byrd to reach the Jets’ three-yard-line (leading to a one-yard punch-in by Cam Newton), but his 20-yard diving catch on the next passion allowed Nick Folk’s field goal to be booted, giving the Jets a 30-27 loss…vital for those who demand to see them tank.
The New York Jets have already been an active player in the trade deadline and the rumors surrounding it. Sitting at 0-7, the organization is not expected to be in contention any time soon, so with the opportunity to accumulate some draft capital before the end of the season, it is expected the Jets will continue to jump on those opportunities.
As for the guys the Jets should not answer calls on, well, there are not many. Still, the Jets should not answer calls on some of these key pieces for the future because not only are they building blocks, but they are guys who can draw in a new head coach.
LT Mekhi Becton
Becton has been a wild success to this point. He has been a mauler in the run game and been a reliable piece of the pass blocking attack as well. Joe Douglas said he would build this team through the trenches and this pick has become a key part of the offense already.
Whoever becomes the new head coach should take solace in knowing that the left tackle spot would be solidified with Becton. You can make the case that Becton still has a small sample size, but a quick look at the film shows that this monster of a man has been everything the Jets bargained for. A franchise left tackle could fetch serious draft capital, but it makes no sense to trade Becton or even entertain the idea.
DL Quinnen Williams
Quinnen may not be everything the Jets thought he would be when they picked him with the third selection, but he has stepped up mightily this year. This season in seven games and seven starts, Williams has 28 tackles, 5 TFLs, 3.0 sacks, and 1 FF. Those numbers have already exceeded his numbers from his rookie campaign, but that hasn’t been the impressive part.
Williams has shown a capability of dominance in bull rush scenarios as evidenced against guys like Trent Williams in San Francisco among others. Williams is still very young and he is only going to get better with time and a new coach. This is another guy who can be a building block in the trenches like Joe Douglas wants.
QB Sam Darnold
This is a controversial one. Darnold currently has a 58.4 completion percentage, 912 yards, 3 TDs, and 6 INTs. Darnold has also rushed for 117 yards and a TD this season. Those numbers are mediocre at best. Now, factors like Adam Gase, poor supporting cast, and injuries have really hurt his development. With Trevor Lawerence available and the team continues to lose, rumors have run rampant. Darnold deserves another shot, but maybe not in New York. Still, if Lawerence is on the board, the team must think long and hard about who gives them the best chance to win.
All of these players provide examples of guys who hold a lot of long term value. The team is probably not going to field offers on these guys, but if they do, there is no reason to trade these guys when they have long term potential. The three guys above though are the ONLY guys the team should not trade unless they are wowed, and even then, Becton should still remain on the roster no matter the price.
The New York Jets’ draft class is making its way to the field. Their prescience should fuel the team and fans over a trying ten weeks.
Even when adhering to social distancing, autumn in New York…and New Jersey, for that matter…is blessed with enough open space that one has the luxury of choosing Sunday activities beyond football. Sure, it’s a time-honored tradition for many households in the metropolitan area, but with one of their teams seemingly destined for NFL infamy (and the other really isn’t much better), a healthier fall activity is strongly encouraged in these trying times.
After all, why raise your blood pressure? The New York Jets are 0-7, the lone winless team left in the NFL. They probably won’t be favored in any of their final nine games, and a 19.5 line against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS) somehow seems like if too low. Even if the Jets somehow earn a win, they’ll lose, fall in the endeavor for Trevor (Lawrence) standings. Sure, tuning into the Kansas City showdown might go along with the theme of watching horror movies on Halloween weekend (with Le’Veon Bell perhaps playing the role of the threat back from the dead to wreak havoc), but there have to be better ways to spend one’s time in this area.
Perhaps the most brutal aspect…or merciful, depending on your point of view…of this most recent chapter of the Jets’ perpetual rebuild is the fact that none of these games appear to be truly close, their average margin of defeat coming by three possessions. No one said this was going to be the Jets’ season…even one of the extra wild card berths seemed like far too much to ask for…but they could at least provide hope for the future by giving opponents all they could handle and at least make the quest for the win difficult. Last week’s 18-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills’ might’ve fit the criteria of such a constructive defeat, but the Jets offset any good that might’ve emerged by earning a mere four yards in the second half…a figure made all the more depressing by the fact they earned a 13-yard rush on their first drive of the segment.
But, those who are dedicated to this team, those opt for, need the three-hour escape that is Jets football…salvation may be on the horizon.
The Jets’ final weeks may become football’s ultimate example of “trick or treat”. With this brutal 0-7 ledger, one that has the Jets further from the AFC playoff picture than driving from East Rutherford to Kansas City, a macabre gift arrives in the form of nine free weeks of research and development. Risks can be taken, assessments can be made…all in the name of playing relatively consequence-free football from a team standpoint.
It’s time for the Jets to unleash the rookies.
The modern New York draft class is a bit of an uncanny situation for general manager Joe Douglas. Overseeing his second full season with the team, Douglas is still working with his inaugural draft group obtained in April. Adding to the discomfort of the situation was the fact that the general manager was in an awkward position at 11th overall, one that gave the Jets a perfect opportunity to fill one of their most crucial needs: protection for Sam Darnold or get him a receiver. The fact the Jets had that many needs to fill with that single pick just goes to show where they were as a franchise. If Douglas satisfied one need, he would anger supporters of the other. It came to pass that when he opted to use the selection on Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, he passed on several talented receivers, such as Henry Ruggs, Jerry Jeudy, and CeeDee Lamb. For all intents and purposes, it seems like Douglas let the right one in with Becton (the same could probably be said about sixth-round punter Braden Mann) and he was able to whet the appetite of the pro-receiver crowd by opening the day two proceedings with the selection of Denzel Mims out of Baylor.
In typical Jets fashion, their 2020 draft class appears to be a star-crossed group, done in by factors both in and beyond their control. Injuries have plagued the class, Becton was controversially inserted into the Jets’ primetime game against Denver despite dealing with a shoulder issue suffered against Indianapolis a week prior. Mims injured both of his hamstrings and missed most of training camp, as did Jabari Zuniga. Even the Jets’ handling of their healthy rookies left something to be desired. With Bell injured and later released, the time seemed perfect to hand over the rushing reigns to touted fourth-round project La’Mical Perine, but the Florida alum has been forced to share carries, and even sit behind, a 37-year-old Frank Gore.
But rookie reinforcements are coming in. It’s time for the youth to revolt. These youngsters, even if it comes merely through the fact they’ve been dealt few snaps than their veteran compatriots, are the least guilty parties in the Jets’ early demise. It’s players like these that will shape the future and will be counted on to lead the potential glory days. Even if these players aren’t the answer, they deserve to at least get a chance to prove otherwise rather than sticking with veterans who clearly aren’t working. T
Such a strategy played in the Jets’ favor last Sunday. With offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains calling plays, Perine and Mims (making his NFL debut) earned extended opportunities. The receiver wound up being the Jets’ top aerial threat (42 yards on four receptions) while Perine (11 carries for 39 yards) wound up scoring the team’s only touchdown. They would unite on that play, as Mims’ crucial block afforded Perine the necessary yardage to give the Jets a short-lived 10-0 lead.
Speaking with Randy Lange of NewYorkJets.com after the game, Perine expressed his excitement in taking the field with fellow premier picks Becton and Mims and seems quite keen for such endeavors to become more regular.
“It was great to see Mims out there just because he hasn’t been out there the whole season, he didn’t have a training camp. For him to be as confident as he was, I wasn’t surprised but it was just good to see. And Mekhi, he’s a great dude, a great player who’s always going to work hard and be the guy he is. They drafted him in the first round for a reason and he’s putting everybody on notice.”
Out of these darkest hours, a golden opportunity has emerged in the form of a silver lining. The Jets must wisely seize it while it’s still on the table.
Hand it off to Perine. Target plays for Mims as much as possible. Run to Becton’s side. Allow Zuniga an opportunity to rush the passer.
Some of these opportunities could well become necessities, as the Jets are dealing with several injuries leading into their dire deposition against Kansas City. For example, Ashtyn Davis could see a bigger role with Bradley McDougald down. It’s an opportunity that head coach Adam Gase has noticed. Developing talent in the rookie class could well be the last chance Gase has to truly save his position, if he’s not too far gone as is.
“I know (Douglas) is excited to see these guys play,” Gase said this week, per Greg Joyce of the New York Post. “We’ve been waiting. I think we were one week where it was like Perine might have been the only guy that was available, and that’s frustrating because we really like this draft class and we feel like these guys can help us a lot. For us to have injuries or whatever it’s been at the beginning of the year, to get all these guys out there that’s a step in the right direction.”
The Jets season, or what’s left of it, is going to be a draft no matter what lies ahead. One of the few ways to prevent this endeavor from truly becoming a waste is to prepare for the future…in the dreary present.
Individually, the New York Jets have several make-or-break cases. It’s a shame because, from a 2020 point-of-view, they have little to lose.
In the latter stages of “Like a Rolling Stone”, Bob Dylan declares “when you ain’t got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose”.
That’s certainly one way to look at the current state of affairs of the New York Jets. The team is the midst of a nine-year playoff drought (third-longest in the NFL) and, even with expanded playoff invitations, ending it will be a tall task. Established contenders populate the AFC (which will likely run through Kansas City until further notice) and the Jets were dealt a further blow with linebacker C.J. Mosley opting out.
But desperation creates difficult times. With no expectations, this could a time to break out of their shell, take chances, risk it all. After all, this is a team whose few veterans are getting quite sick of the piled-up defeats.
“I’ve been here four, going on five years and I’m tired of f***ing losing,” linebacker Jordan Jenkins said earlier this month, per Andy Vazquez of NorthJersey.com. “So, now (we) just got to ramp (things) up and just try to get the ball rolling.”
Entering his fifth season in green, Jenkins has been on the wrong end of many an NFL scoreboard. His collegiate career at Georgia endured only 13 losses. That number was surpassed by October of his sophomore season. A strong season (leading the Jets with eight sacks) led to the Jets welcoming him back for another year, but Jenkins, 26, perhaps has plenty to lose as his career enters a crossroads and he seeks to earn a long-term contract, be it in New York or elsewhere.
The Jets have 36 players due for free agency next offseason. They’re working with a coaching staff that may well be fighting for their jobs. At the same time, 2020 is a bit of a consequence-free season from a team standpoint. It’s anything but a Super Bowl-or-bust campaign. Everyone outside of Foxboro has the Buffalo Bills pegged to usurp the AFC East throne. Matching last year’s win total of seven may be a reasonable goal. Anything else would be a pleasant surprise. But, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not exactly a tragedy if the Jets miss out on the postseason party this year.
Thus, it’s on the guys whose positions are relatively safe to get things rolling and opening the book of chance up. Fortune can be risked. Moves can be made. It’s all about the Jets of the present and future working on something new. It’s on them to play a brand of risky Jets football that probably hasn’t been seen in a while. When was the last time, for example, you heard of a Jets trick play? Deep balls have been far and few in between. It’s time for the team to take risks on a year of no consequence.
Rookie safety Ashtyn Davis knows all about that brand of football. The Cal-Berkeley alum’s days as a Golden Bear were defined by a sense of nothing to lose as a walk-on player who had track to fall back on if the football experiment didn’t work out. He went on to be a crucial part of the Berkeley defense and special teams, becoming a regular on the Pac-12’s leaderboards. He played his way into consideration for the Burlsworth Trophy (awarded to the most outstanding Football Bowl Subdivision player who began his career as a walk-on) and into a third-round selection in April’s NFL Draft.
Set to be a big part of the New York defensive efforts as it was, Davis has a huge opportunity ahead upon the departure of Jamal Adams. His healthy reckless abandon, a willingness to immediately play two parts of the game (Davis has worked as both a returner and a gunner) has drawn the attention of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who hopes that veterans emulate such an attitude.
“I love the fact that he had to walk on and he had to do everything he could to just get a scholarship and get some time at the college level to play,” Williams said, per Kristian Dyer of Sports Illustrated. “But he’s done very well with everything we’ve seen, he’s going to have to slow down mentally and that’s what happens when any young guy comes into our league and this league is not one of those things where you just do a couple of things and let him go.”
“I’m a fast guy and special teams is just defense in space so it’s a good opportunity to show that I can do the things I need to do on defense as well as making a contribution on the field,” Davis added. “I’m competitive so as long as I’m on the football field so when I’m out on the field, regardless of what it is, I like doing it.”
Veterans can likewise roll with the continuing change and the potential to take risks and roll through. Quarterbacks entering a “make-or-break” year appears to be a theme in the Adam Gase era…it felt like Ryan Tannehill went through a decade of them in Miami…but this isn’t the case for Sam Darnold.
As the Jets continue to search for an offensive identity, Darnold has a chance to establish himself as a true leader and franchise man. The Jets’ receiving corps continues to develop and work itself out, a process that might get even lengthier with both Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims nursing injuries. But the potential of a bolstered offensive line gives him a good opportunity for a true breakout.
Considering the turnover Darnold has had to deal with in only two years as a New York starter (both the receiver corps and offensive line from Darnold’s rookie season are gone), it’s almost a miracle that he’s been able to flash his occasional brilliance under center. Stationed behind a group of blockers that has the most to lose on this squad, Darnold has a chance to develop chemistry and work on the personal issues that have prevented him from reaching his full potential, such as the deep ball. NFL Next Gen Stats had him ranked third-worst among starters in air yard distance (46.2).
“Continuing to work on deep-ball accuracy, is huge for me. (I) feel like I left some of those on the table last year,” Darnold said during the spring. “But with the weapons that we have now, we’re looking for good production from our wide receivers and running backs.”
Risks should even be on the table for those who have everything to lose. Marcus Maye has an opportunity to truly take over the New York defense. When he gets back on the field, Perriman has a chance to truly live up to his first-round potential and hit the reset button his career.
By no means, obviously, should this team even consider tanking or “trusting the process”. This isn’t the NBA, where a high draft pick proves more valuable than getting the 7th/8th seed. Seasons in the NFL are simply far too valuable to entertain that kind of thought.
But, as a team, healthy reckless abandon should be the name of the game. Not everyone is going to make it through this season of transition, one that will serve as an audition for many as the Jets try to prepare for potential glory days ahead. From a team standpoint, it’s time to take risks, make your own luck. If it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be. Who knows, the season could well play out the way many expect it to play out: another losing season and no playoff berth to show for it. If that’s the way it goes, at least work on the development. Risk and chance could well be the way to go.
A number of things stood out to me from today’s first team scrimmage for the New York Jets, and for the most part they were not very good. So, let’s breakdown what went right and what went wrong for the Jets today.
Gore reportedly looked “terrific” according to The Athletic’s Connor Hughes among others. Gore has been fantastic to this point according to Gase in terms of leadership impact and on the field performance. The ageless wonder continued to amaze and I’m excited to see him debut with the Green and White.
Sticking with the running backs, Perine was impressive today ripping off a 20 yard gain and then a 79-yard score. Perine was known for his breakaway speed at Florida and he flashed that today. The Jets know they have a unique blend of speed and size in that running back room and the perfect definition of that is Perine. I’m intrigued to see how he continues to grow from here as the season progress.
Mike White and James Morgan
The little known former 5th rounder was a practice squad fixture last season. Then this season, Gase said it’s been like two different quarterbacks. He’s thrown the ball very well in camp to this point and that reportedly continued today with another solid showing. Morgan also dominated the first-team defense which is impressive but also scary.
Davis continued his impressive camp with a pick-six today. Davis has been working side by side with the Jets defensive coaches in order to maximize his potential early on. It’s clear the organization has high hopes for him.
The Jets first-team offense turned the ball over 3 times today against the second-team defense. That’s inexcusable and something that you’d expect earlier in camp, not two weeks away from the season. That’s an issue that needs to be worked on quickly.
First Team Defense Pressure
The Jets reportedly had no pressure in the backfield today. Presumably, Tarell Basham was set for the second pass rusher role, but with his injury, Jenkins will get targeted all the more. So, this makes pressure a difficult thing for the Jets to sustain right now. A move might need to be made for a pass rusher if Basham won’t be ready by week one.
It seems like every day more injuries occur. Today, Lawerence Cager caught bad luck during his excellent camp with swelling emerging around his knee. That’s the latest receiver out and latest important piece. Then, new guard, Greg Van Roten got hurt as well. The Jets need to find ways to minimize injuries or this will be a long year.
I touched on the injury to Cager, but with Crowder and Hogan having a bad record with injuries and both fumbling during the scrimmage, it’s apparent the Jets need more insurance. Perriman and Mims will be back soon, but the Jets could use another vet to provide more insurance.
Lev was pulled after just a few reps. It was reportedly to keep him loose, but he refuted those claims on Twitter immediately. He claimed that he needs reps to get going and the Jets were mismanaging him. All I can say is, welcome to Jets football.
The New York Jets rounded out the signings of their freshman class by agreeing to terms with the Cal safety/return man.
The New York Jets have signed every member of their 2020 draft class, having confirmed the final inked contract on Thursday night. Cal-Berkeley safety Ashtyn Davis was the pick in question, but the team confirmed the official addition of April’s 68th overall pick.
“I think I can contribute anywhere they put me. I’m comfortable on the outside and inside, whatever the case may be,” Davis said in a statement on the team’s website. “After my first year of playing safety, I wanted to know every position and not just my responsibility. That way if someone went down they could put me in.”
Davis was indeed a man of many talents with the Golden Bears. Doubling as a hurdler on the track and field squad, Davis earned 166 tackles to go with seven interceptions on the gridiron. Davis also made a name for himself as a returner, averaging 22.9 yards on kickoffs. The 26.2 yards he averaged during the 2018 season were good for second in the Pac-12.
All-conference team honors awaited Davis in both his junior and senior campaigns, with first-team accolades coming in the former.
“Ashtyn brings speed, ball skills and versatility,” general manager Joe Douglas said in the same statement. “You can see him line up and cover a slot receiver and cover him in man coverage, you can see him line up as a high safety and range over to the sideline to make a play on the ball, you can see him attack the alleys in the run game, you can see him blitz.”
The pick used to draft Davis was obtained from the New York Giants in exchange for defensive lineman Leonard Williams. Davis was one of two third-round picks for the Jets, the other being Jabari Zuniga 11 picks later.
New York is set to open training camp on July 28 at Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility.
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.
“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 newyorkjets.com‘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.
Taking a look at how New York Jets’ Jamal Adams could spell the end for Marcus Maye in green and white:
The Jets drafted both Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye three years ago, and both have played influential roles on defense. Adams has been the better of the pair by a fair margin, but Maye has left his mark as well.
Ultimately, the Jets are going to have to pay both of them eventually, and with Adams demanding an extension now, it could force Gang Green to trade away Maye for draft capital. According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets have had discussions involving Maye, who has posted sound production of the past three seasons. At just 27 years old, Maye has logged 178 tackles, four interceptions, 11 past breakups, and two forced fumbles.
Ultimately, general manager Joe Douglas has no intention of dealing with Adams’s contract immediately, allowing him to sit and skip out on voluntary virtual workouts. However, the safety knows his value and is willing to stay away from the team until he receives a new deal.
In 2019, Adams played in 14 games, posting 75 combine tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 13 quarterback heads, and 6.5 sacks. His production was impressive and likely garners the attention he is demanding from Douglas. He’s only missed two games in his career, which attest to his overall health.
Essentially, the Jets are going to need to deal with Adams sooner or later, and his desire to be treated like a star will likely push me out of New York. The NFL is undoubtedly a business, and Adams is showing that the players have the leverage too.
If Maye is evidently traded, the Jets did draft a safety in the fourth round. Ashytn Davis out of Cal was their selection, and he has the tangible traits to develop into a starter. Davis is a speedy free safety who can cover ground well, but he’s a bit raw in some areas. Expect him to play a bit of special teams in 2020 and potentially earn a larger role in the secondary.
The New York Jets selected a defensive back in the third round to the initial dismay of the fan base. The Jets faithful either wanted another receiver, an edge rusher, or a corner. Ashtyn Davis was listed as many as a safety, but that’s in the same way some listed Isaiah Simmons as a safety and some as a linebacker. Versatility is key, and that’s what Ashtyn Davis brings to the table.
Who Is Ashtyn Davis?
Ashtyn Davis began playing football in Santa Cruz, California, as a wide receiver. Davis has incredible athleticism, and he put that on display outside of the game. Davis was an electric hurdler for Cal and began in high school. He was a champion in 110-meter hurdles. On the field, his athleticism is one of his greatest assets.
Davis tracks balls like a center fielder. He’s got phenomenal sideline to sideline ability. He’s dynamic in the return game and on special teams as a whole. He’s a solid cover safety or potentially corner and a fun weapon for Gregg Williams. His athleticism allows him to be versatile. Wherever he can make an impact, he will. Davis has all the makings to be a great defensive back in this league.
How does he fit?
Heading into his rookie year, Davis doesn’t have a clear cut role. What’s more likely is he will be used in a multitude of ways. He can be trusted to come in wherever and make an impact. Davis will immediately be trusted to take over Rontez Miles’ role on special teams and as a backup safety. In the long haul, a good performance in 2020 could make him a franchise building block.
With Marcus Maye’s contract up along with Jamal’s in 2021, the Jets can’t afford both. Adams is the priority, but the Jets can’t tie up all that money to one spot. Despite being Jamal Adams’ running mate, Marcus Maye could still find his way out. Ashtyn Davis could be groomed to fill his shoes. With his incredible physical abilities and impressive on-field play, if Ashtyn Davis takes advantage of his opportunity, he could be an excellent pick for Joe Douglas.