Cal Football: Analyzing Ashtyn Davis’ 2020 NFL Draft landing spot

Cal Football (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Cal Football (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Cal Football program saw their first of three prospects taken in the 2020 NFL Draft when safety Ashtyn Davis was selected in the third round by the New York Jets.

The Bay Area has been spinning for its first taste of live sports in weeks.

The Las Vegas Raiders and San Francisco 49ers have both successfully added talent in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, there is one other notable storyline that may be of interest to fans in the Bay Area — the drafting of the Cal safety Ashtyn Davis.

Davis was recently selected by the New York Jets at pick No. 68 in the third round. The pick, which the Jets acquired from the New York Giants in exchange for Leonard Williams, was the first defensive player selected by the Jets.

The Player

Davis was phenomenal during his time with the Cal football program. The senior fits the mold of a safety/linebacker hybrid.

His toughness and nose for the football make him very comfortable playing inside the box, even if he primarily played free safety at Cal. However, his consistency as a tackler does need to be improved.

The ex-Cal star is a solid athlete with good foot speed. He is able to cover quite a bit of ground quickly, making him an ideal player to roam the field as a pass defender.

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His quickness and footwork are evident when you watch him play. This gives him above-average range, helping him cover large chunks of the field with efficiency.

The former walk-on was able to progress quickly in his collegiate career as he ascended from an unrecruited prospect to a third-round NFL pick.

If he improves his tackling form and becomes more comfortable in coverage, Davis should be able to build on his success at Cal and carve out a long professional career in green and white.

The Fit

Davis should mesh well with Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Superstar Jamal Adams seems locked into the strong safety position for the foreseeable future.

However, Davis should have a legitimate opportunity to supplant projected starter Marcus Maye as the starting free safety if the Florida product walks in free agency after the 2020 season.

Maye will be kept as the starter in the short-term, but Davis is more than flexible enough to move around the field and line up at a variety of different roles. He will assuredly find his way onto the field quickly.

At the very least, Davis’ speed will allow him to become a standout special teams contributor. While this will likely provide him with his first chance at NFL action, don’t expect him to take long before he carves out an important role on the defense.


Ashtyn Davis holds the distinction of being the first player from either Cal or Stanford to be selected in 2020. While fans in the Bay Area will have to see him take his talents to the east coast, we will be rooting for him to continue to excel as he represents California as a member of the Jets.

Next. Cal Football: Jaylinn Hawkins talks Cal memories, 2020 NFL Draft. dark

You may even hear an occasional “J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets!” chant from the Cal University faithful.