As the NY Jets look ahead to the 2024 season, their goal should be to evaluate their current roster and give players who might be back next year an opportunity to prove themselves. One of those players should be Ashtyn Davis.
The former third-round pick is playing some of the best football of his career, and with his contract set to expire in the offseason, Davis deserves an opportunity to audition for a role on the team next year.
The Jets have started to integrate Davis into their defense more and more as the season has gone on, and he's continued to reward them with big play after big play. Now, it's time for Davis to be given a starting role.
For as dominant as the Jets' defense has been this season, the only weak spot of the unit has been at safety. Davis deserves an opportunity to prove that he could play a role with the team next season.
The NY Jets should start Ashtyn Davis moving forward
Since the start of the 2021 season, Davis leads the NFL in turnover percentage. He also leads the Jets in defensive takeaways this season despite playing only 121 snaps on defense. Whenever Davis is on the field, he makes plays.
It's taken the former Cal standout time to realize his potential at the NFL level, but Davis has taken some significant steps forward this season. It's not just the big plays, either.
Davis' 69.1 Pro Football Focus coverage grade is the highest of his NFL career. His passer rating when targeted is a lowly 49.2 — a massive improvement from his career average of 103.9.
Meanwhile, the Jets continue to receive lackluster production from their current starting safeties. Tony Adams is young and cheap enough to justify bringing him back as a starter in 2024, but the same can't be said for Jordan Whitehead.
Whitehead has allowed three more touchdowns (eight) than any other safety in football this season. His 15 missed tackles rank second-worst among all safeties as well. He's been a liability both in coverage and run defense.
With Whitehead's contract set to expire in the offseason, it's hard to believe the Jets will look to bring him back in a starting role in 2024. That's why it would make sense to give Davis a look with the starters over the final five games of the season.
The Jets have been using Davis as their third safety in recent weeks, and he was on the field for 19 defensive snaps this past Sunday. Still, it would make sense to switch Davis and Whitehead's roles.
Their starting safety is struggling, and he likely won't be back next season. Why not give an opportunity to Ashtyn Davis to see if he can earn his way onto the roster in 2024? He's earned it.