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Ashtyn Davis has the makings of a good deep safety in the NFL

In the final installment of our week studying safeties, we look at former Cal superstar Ashtyn Davis. After a junior season that saw him earn an 89.3 coverage grade, intercept four passes and break up another five, Davis was solid as a senior, allowing just 20 completions into his coverage, intercepting two passes and breaking up another two, earning a 73.8 coverage grade in the process. Almost two-thirds of Davis’ 673 snaps as a senior were in the deep part of the field, with over 100 at slot corner.   

An injury forced Davis out of Cal’s bowl game, the Senior Bowl and all but the bench press (14 reps) of the combine, which means we have incomplete information from which to project. Alas, our system in these instances simply incorporates his play-by-play information, adjusting for context and level of competition:

[Editor's Note: PFF's college-to-pro projections are powered by AWS machine learning capabilities.]

How Davis Projects as a Coverage Player

Davis’ projected completion percentage allowed is one of the better ones in his class, and his near-10-percent playmaker rate (rate of interceptions and pass breakups per primary coverage snap) is also one of the top marks in the context-free environment.  

If we assume that 70 percent of his snaps in coverage are deep, with another 15 percent in the slot, his projection becomes more like that of Grant Delpit of LSU, Geno Stone of Iowa and Kyle Dugger of Lenoir Rhyne, with statistical comps like Justin Simmons and Earl Thomas:

Ashtyn Davis’ projected completion percentage allowed and play maker rate generated in an environment where 70 percent of his coverage snaps are at deep safety, 15 percent are at slot corner and 15 percent are in the box.  Dashed vertical lines are league median rates for rookie-deal safeties from 2015-2019.  

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