NY Jets’ safeties Ashtyn Davis and Bradley McDougald must rise to the occasion after the Jamal Adams trade.
It finally happened — Jamal Adams will be wearing another team’s jersey this season after NY Jets general manager Joe Douglas pulled off a blockbuster trade on Saturday sending the All-Pro safety to Seattle.
In return, the Jets receive a 2021 first and third-round pick, another first-round pick in 2022, and veteran safety Bradley McDougald.
The Jets lost a great player, but it was the right thing to do and the team received a huge haul of picks to build for the future. It was obvious Adams didn’t want to play for the Jets anymore after months of a dispute surrounding his contract.
Now, the team has to move forward without its former superstar safety.
The Jets are losing a player who was great in the box and was very solid in coverage, but there are guys on the roster who defensive coordinator Gregg Williams can use to replace Adams.
Will they be as good as Adams? Probably not. But it will be interesting to see who steps up in Adams’ absence.
It’s time for Ashtyn Davis to prove his worth with the NY Jets.
Ashtyn Davis is the wild card in all of this. The Jets selected him in the third round of this year’s draft in hopes that he’d play alongside Adams and Marcus Maye in the secondary. But now that Adams is gone, Davis’ role is going to potentially increase.
Davis’s biggest upsides coming out of college were his physicality and his versatility. The Cal product can play in man-to-man coverage, but can also line up in the box and cause disruption in the run game.
Because of his versatility, Davis can play both free or strong safety — although he’s a natural free safety — and can also be utilized as a cornerback because of his speed, quick footwork, and his ability to play man.
NFL Draft analyst Jon Ledyard provided an example of his physicality at the safety position in a game last season against Oregon.
If anyone reading this hasn’t seen Davis play yet, just look at his game tape against Oregon from last season where he had seven tackles and an interception. He’s the real deal.
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NY Jets rookie Ashtyn Davis will have to battle with the more experienced Bradley McDougald.
We know Marcus Maye will be the starting free safety, but Ashtyn Davis will have to compete with newly acquired Jet Bradley McDougald for playing time at strong safety.
McDougald replaced Kam Chancellor when he retired from the NFL and became a respected starter on that Seahawks defense.
He wasn’t close to Chancellor’s level, but McDougald put up solid numbers in his three years with the Seahawks totaling 223 tackles and five interceptions.
McDougald is more of the quintessential box safety which compliments a player like Maye who is more of a coverage safety. However, the veteran isn’t necessarily poor in coverage either.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 9, 2018
McDougald and Davis are Gregg Williams type players in that they’re both physical, versatile safeties that can be used in various blitz packages. The 29-year-old is known to be a box safety to many, but he is solid in man-to-man coverage as well.
Per Pro Football Focus, McDougald had an 85.4 man coverage grade that ranked fourth among safeties who have played at least 100 snaps of man coverage over the last two seasons.
He’s no Jamal Adams, but McDougald was one of the more productive players on defense over the last two seasons for Seattle.
It will be interesting to see what roles Ashtyn Davis and Bradley McDougald can establish for themselves in training camp.