7 players with the most to prove at NY Jets training camp

NY Jets, Zach Wilson
NY Jets, Zach Wilson / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets
NY Jets, Ashtyn Davis / Cliff Hawkins/GettyImages

6. Sauce Gardner, CB, NY Jets

The Jets didn't draft Sauce Gardner fourth overall to sit on the bench, but head coach Robert Saleh already made it clear that he's not going to hand his star rookie anything this summer.

Gardner enters training camp running with the second-team defense behind free-agent signing D.J. Reed and the incumbent Bryce Hall. The assumption is that Gardner will surpass Hall on the depth chart before long, but that's not a guarantee.

The former Cincinnati standout will have to prove his worth in training camp. His competition, Hall, is coming off a strong 2021 season and has plenty of fans on the Jets' coaching staff.

The Jets drafted Gardner to be an instant-impact difference-maker. Training camp will be his first opportunity to prove to the Jets that they made a wise investment.

5. Ashtyn Davis, S, NY Jets

Ashtyn Davis has fallen well short of expectations since entering the league as a third-round pick back in 2020. The Jets knew they were drafting a developmental project when they selected Davis, but to this point, he hasn't really developed as they had hoped.

Davis is an athletic freak capable of flashy, highlight-reel plays as a result of his athleticism alone, but it's the rest of the game that he's failed to adapt to. The hope is that could change this summer.

Davis hasn't really had the opportunity to have a full offseason to this point. The COVID-19 pandemic limited his development in year one and a foot injury sidelined him for all of last summer.

The Jets still believe in Davis' natural ability, and a strong showing at OTAs and minicamp has generated some buzz. If he can carry over that momentum into the summer, Davis might just carve out a semi-regular role on defense.