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NY Jets: 4 veterans who could surprise in training camp

NY Jets, Nathan Shepherd
NY Jets, Nathan Shepherd / Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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NY Jets, Jarrad Davis
NY Jets, Jarrad Davis / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

1. Jarrad Davis, LB, NY Jets

The first signing the Jets made in free agency wasn't a high-profile wide receiver like Corey Davis or a top-tier edge rusher like Carl Lawson. Instead, it was former Detroit Lions draft bust, Jarrad Davis.

Davis was a complete disappointment in Detroit — there's really no other way to describe it. He ranked as the 77th linebacker in the NFL, per PFF, in 2018 and the 86th (out of 89 qualifiers) in 2019 before being relegated to a part-time role in 2020.

In many ways, his career resembled that of former Jets draft bust Darron Lee as an athletic linebacker who never could harness that athleticism with the team that drafted him.

But the Jets coaching staff clearly sees something in Davis who played some of his best football in a reserve role last season. Robert Saleh and company believe they could unlock the potential that Davis flashed at times with the Lions.

And he'll have every opportunity to showcase his talents in training camp.

Davis' athleticism makes him an ideal fit in Saleh's scheme and it should be worth noting that the former Florida standout was miscast as an every-down middle linebacker with the Lions.

Davis played under Matt Patricia with the Lions, a man who has become infamous for his misuse of various players. Some have even referred to him as the Adam Gase of defense.

He's going from a Matt Patricia defense where he was asked to play a position that didn't suit him to a Robert Saleh defense known for accentuating the strengths of its linebackers.

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Jarrad Davis has a chance to resurrect his career with the Jets. That process starts in training camp.