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Mel Kiper: Ashtyn Davis is ‘a great athlete’

Kiper’s grade assignment on the Jets includes a glowing review of Ashtyn Davis

Washington v California Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

In a glaringly obvious statement, Mel Kiper expressed how impressed he was with former Cal S Ashtyn Davis, finishing that he’s ‘a great athlete’ during his writeup of the New York Jets 2020 NFL Draft grade.

Kiper wrote more on Davis but gave the entire Jets’ haul a B grade for their selections of Mekhi Becton (1/11), Denzel Mims (2/59), Davis (3/68), Jabari Zuniga (3/79), La’Mical Perine (4/120), James Morgan (4/125), Cameron Clark (4/129), Bryce Hall (5/158) and Braden Mann (6/191).

The Jets hired a new general manager after the draft last year, so this is Joe Douglas’ first time in charge of a draft board, and I thought he had a good first two days, particularly without premium picks. Adam Gase’s team had a strong end to 2019, finishing 7-9, which pushed it outside of the top 10 picks. That meant playing the waiting game. And with huge voids along the offensive line and at wide receiver — Robby Anderson is gone, and the Jets don’t have a true top guy — the Jets got lucky that this class was deep with premium tackles and wideouts.

You can argue about whether they should have gone with a wide receiver at No. 11, but they ended up with offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, a 6-foot-7, 364-pound mountain of a man who should be an instant starter. There aren’t many guys that athletic at that size anywhere. Douglas and Gase then addressed the hole at WR in Round 2, and Denzel Mims (59) went 20 spots lower than I had him rated. Can he be the Jets’ No. 1 right away? No. But with 4.38 40-yard dash speed and a 6-foot-3 frame, the tools are there long term. Sam Darnold needs Mims to be good.

The Jets traded down twice on Day 2, adding extra picks. I liked safety Ashtyn Davis (68) early in Round 3; the former Pac-12 hurdling champion worked his way from walk-on to starter, and he’s a great athlete. Safety doesn’t look like a clear hole, but teams always need extra defensive backs in today’s NFL. Edge rusher Jabari Zuniga (79) played only six games last season, but he has some upside.

On Day 3, La’Mical Perine (120) was a reach early — he was my No. 12 running back. James Morgan (125) is an interesting, toolsy quarterback, but the Jets had needs in other spots, and Jake Fromm was still available. I do like offensive tackle Cameron Clark (129), who plays with good technique and whom I called a potential sleeper last week. Braden Mann (191) is my top-ranked punter. The Jets also added a 2021 sixth-round pick when the Patriots traded up on Day 2.

This is a B class because New York was able to get starters at its top two needs early.

There’s the whole haul from the Jets written up but it’s certainly a glowing review for Davis in the middle there. We know his story and it’s great to see that the rest of the draft pundits understood as well. You’re not going to get a harder worker than Ashtyn and he should certainly factor into the depth of the Jets secondary right away.

I like the pick, I like the writing from Kiper. This one wins in my book.

Too bad Ashtyn doesn’t get the chance to intercept Tom Brady though ...