NFL Draft

2020 NFL Draft Player Profiles: California S Ashtyn Davis

From now until the 2020 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

#27 Ashtyn Davis / SAF California – 6010 195

The Good

  • Experience playing the single high safety, in the box or in the slot
  • Aggressive to the ball in the air and trying to punch out from the ball carrier
  • Very good tackler wrapping and getting the ball carrier down quickly
  • Good physically taking on blockers, against the run and in coverage
  • Good timing and competitiveness as a blitzer and to avoid interference penalties
  • Extensive experience on special teams and returning kicks

The Bad

  • Angles are too shallow on deep passes to the outside
  • Needs to improve Man coverage skills vs quicker WR’s
  • Must get better at disengaging from blocks
  • Also must improve angles coming downhill vs the run
  • Groin injury late in the year


  • Career – 166 tackles, 102 solo, 2 TFL, 7 INT, 12 PD, 3 FR, 2 FF
  • 2019 – 55 tackles, 32 solo, 1 TFL, 2 INT, 4 PD, 2 FR, 1, FF
  • 48 games, 33 starts
  • 2016, 2017 – J. Scott Duncan Award as its Most Valuable Player on Special Teams
  • 1,758 all-purpose yards, adding 70 KR for 1,604 yards (22.9 ypr) and 1 TD , two PR for 33 yards
  • Senior Bowl invitee
  • Member of the CAL track and field program – 2018 Second Team All American
  • Personal best 13.50 in the 110-meter hurdles

Tape Breakdown

A versatile defender who was used as the deep safety, in the slot and lined up as a linebacker who can make plays against the run and the pass. He was also used extensively on special teams and has a ton of experience as a kick returner.

In the passing game, he was used the majority of the time in Cover 1 or Cover 2. He has very good athleticism and moves around the formation. He’ll start near the line of scrimmage on some plays and race back to a deeper position.  He plays with his eyes in the backfield and will read the QB’s eyes. He has good range and can get to the sideline from the single high position and showed good timing to avoid interference penalties. On throws in front of him he attacks downhill, is a very good open field, old school tackler (he actually wraps up ball carriers). In the slot, he usually played with physicality and outside leverage and is solid against tight ends and bigger receivers. He has good ball skills, tracks the ball well and loves to punch at the ball to try and knock it out. He was used to blitz from the inside and on the edge. He needs to improve his angles from the single high position often coming in too shallow where the ball and receiver meet. In the slot, his technique needs work as quicker receivers were able to open a lot of space against him.

Vs Colorado, he’s aligned as the single high safety and he shows off his range and ball skills on a deep ball down the right sideline.


At Washington, he is coming on a blitz from ten yards deep showing timing and speed and trucks over the RB’s block.


At Oregon, he’s in coverage in the slot. He’ll open his hips to the inside and knowing he has help over the top undercuts the route for the interception.


At UCLA, he lined up 7 yards off the LOS and will sprint back to a Cover 2 look and make a fantastic catch on tipped ball for an interception.


Against the run, he plays more physical than his size. He attacks blockers aggressively and can make plays near the LOS. He reads the play quickly, attacks the hole and is an effective tackler. He gets downhill coming from deep and flows to the ball on every play. Angles to the outside are again something he needs to improve on runs to ensure it doesn’t become a big run. Only saw him miss a couple of tackles and it was from the side where he slipped off instead of getting across the runner. He needs to improve disengaging from blocks especially against bigger blockers.

At Washington, in run support from the deep safety. You can see when he comes into the picture his angle is too shallow but he recovers to make the tackle.


At Washington, aligned closer to the line of scrimmage and shows he’s not afraid to fill a gap and make a tackle.


At Oregon, in a short yardage situation he’s lined up on the LOS over the TE to the near side. He’ll show burst and leverage to blow the TE back and make the tackle.


Davis is a very good athlete and very good competitor and has versatility. He has the ability to make plays all over the field on defense and will be able to contribute on all phases of special team. He tackles well and will support the run and can play as a single high safety. He’ll fit in multiple types of defenses but will have to improve his angles vs the run and pass, work on his man coverage technique and disengaging from blocks. He suffered a groin injury late in the year but should be ready by the Combine.

Projection:  2nd round

Games Watched:  2018 – Vs Colorado; 2019 – At Washington, At Oregon, Vs Washington State, At UCLA

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DT Leki Fotu T Austin Jackson RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire ATH Lynn Bowden Jr. OL Lloyd Cushenberry III
NT Benito Jones
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