Surprising Jets Defender Predicted to Have ‘Big Breakout Year’

Ashtyn Davis, Jets

Getty New York Jets safety Ashtyn Davis walking off of the field after making a big play.

Everyone talks about the moves you do make during an NFL offseason.

However, sometimes the moves you don’t make are even more telling. That very mindset likely led to an analyst making a very bold prediction ahead of the 2022 season for the New York Jets.

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Didn’t See That One Coming


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Ian Wharton of Bleacher Report was tasked with predicting a breakout player for every team in the NFL heading into 2022.

For the Jets, he selected safety Ashtyn Davis:

“It’s critical for New York to force turnovers that put their young offense in advantageous situations. Davis, who will be supported by newcomers D.J. Reed, Sauce Gardner, and Jordan Whitehead in the secondary, will now have more freedom to roam as a centerfielder. This was one of his biggest strengths coming out of Cal in 2020. The Jets secondary has become one of the most talented young units in the NFL. If they jell as their skill sets suggest they should, Davis is in for a big breakout year.”

The reason why this breakout would be so surprising is based on everything we have seen in his career thus far:

  • Two interceptions
  • Four pass deflections
  • 98 total tackles

Davis has only played in 23 games and started in just 16 of those contests. In that sample size, we have consistently seen poor tackle pursuit angles and a player who quite often has looked lost.

The 25-year-old originally entered the league as the No. 68 overall pick in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft out of California.

Here is an interesting fun fact that ESPN NFL draft analyst Jordan Reid shared with me on my podcast that I was unaware of. Prior to the Jets selecting Ahmad Gardner with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft, the highest-drafted defender that general manager Joe Douglas had ever taken was Davis in the third round.

That is absolutely insane.


It Is so Crazy It Might Just Work


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We mentioned at the top that sometimes it is more so about the moves you didn’t make than the ones you did.

For example, the green and white only made one significant addition to the safety room in Whitehead.

That opens the door for a player like Davis to break out and steal a starting gig.

If the Jets would’ve invested a significant asset whether, through free agent dollars or the draft at safety, Davis’ path to a breakout wouldn’t have been possible.

The competition in the room is seriously unproven and Davis’ skillset as a center fielder is exactly what the Jets are looking for on the backend of their defense.

If he can just have a solid camp and show off all of that impressive athleticism that initially piqued the Jets’ interest during the draft, then the world is Davis’ oyster.

While it hasn’t yet come together as it pertains to his NFL career, it is never too late to seize the moment.

He has all the tools but now it is about putting all the pieces together for the third year safety.


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