BearInsider's Jim McGill: Ashtyn Davis Has Tools to Make Impact with Jets

Cal Safety Comes to Pros as 3rd-Round Pick with Speed, Power, Strength, Focus & Versatility


Third-rounders are third-rounders for reasons. It could be because they were collegiate walk-ons, one-tool players, guys with injury issues or on-field inconsistency or off-field problems.

With all that said, it just feels as if the Jets got a good one in California safety Ashtyn Davis. So says Jim McGill of

"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."

So is another Davis trait: his work ethic. It lifted him from being a walk-on for both Cal's track team and football team into being a top-flight contributor.

"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."

Another of the qualities that Jets general manager Joe Douglas, head coach Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams look for is versatility. McGill says Davis has that as well.

"He can play either up on the line and assist a lot in the run game or he can play deep in pass coverage," he said. "If they want to put him at nickel or corner, who could excel at those positions, too."

Not to mention a possible role on special teams as a kickoff returner. Davis had 39 returns for a 21.2-yard average in 2017 and upped that to a 26.2 average, including a TD, on 24 returns in '18 before tapering off last season.

"In the beginning he really had to learn how to navigate the field because I think returns were a little bit new to him," McGill said. "He'd pick up yardage on speed alone and he got better as he learned to read defenses. Obviously his hurdling ability is huge. He was an All-American hurdler all four years of college. Being able to navigate the minefield that is kick returns is huge when you have that kind of leaping ability, speed, cutting ability and ability to read the defense."

Bottom line: Davis may be a third-round draft pick but he may also have what it takes to do with the Jets what he did in his career on the FBS college level.

"Even though Ashtyn was a walk-on and they didn't really know who he was," McGill said, "he was a guy who could really, potentially, have a strong impact."

See the Best Images of the Safety from California and No. 68 Pick in the 2020 NFL Draft

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