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NY Jets: Is Ashtyn Davis a real option to start at safety?

Ashtyn Davis, New York Jets, NFL
Ashtyn Davis, New York Jets, Getty Images

Is Ashtyn Davis a legitimate candidate for one of the New York Jets’ starting safety jobs?

Two years after he was selected in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft, Ashtyn Davis had fizzled out of the New York Jets’ defensive picture.

After starting 16 games at safety over his first two seasons, Davis did not start in any of his 14 appearances during the 2022 season, logging just 13 defensive snaps all season. Davis’ role on the team had become entirely built around special teams, where he played 278 of his 291 total snaps in 2022.

However, in his fourth professional season, Davis rejuvenated his career on the defensive side of the ball. Carving out a role as a sub-package player, Davis played 217 defensive snaps in 17 games. The California product made an absurd number of plays for such a low snap count, finishing the season with 37 total tackles, eight passes defended, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and a safety – all while playing only 19% of the Jets’ defensive snaps.

Davis’ breakout prompted the Jets to re-sign him to a one-year, $2.74 million deal. According to head coach Robert Saleh, he will compete against Chuck Clark and Tony Adams for one of the two starting safety spots.

Should Davis be considered a legitimate candidate to start at safety? Does anything about his 2023 performance translate to the things he would be asked to do as a starter?

Digging through the film is the only way to answer these questions.

In the latest Blewett’s Blitz film review, we break down 13 plays from Davis’ 2023 season to understand where he improved in 2023, which roles fit him best, and whether he is suited to handle the responsibilities of a starting safety.

Ashtyn Davis film breakdown

More film breakdowns from Blewett’s Blitz:

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