Former Arkansas State standout Demario Davis was a rookie Rex Ryan and the New York Jets felt very good about coming out of the draft, and they gave him playing time in all 16 games last season. The rookie turned in 36 tackles during that playing time, and Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweeted that Davis will indeed replace released veteran Bart Scott as the weak-side linebacker.
Rex Ryan confirmed the start by saying, “He’s our No. 1 WILL LB on our depth chart… Clearly Demario is a guy we feel very good about.”
It seems like the New York Jets organization has been high on Demario Davis early on, and the nickel LB is now entrenched as the starter as the WLB next to David Harris, who will continue to star manning the middle of the Jets defense. Davis, a third-rounder last year, offers more athletic ability and upside than Scott, and he is also a whole lot cheaper.
The problem with Davis is that while he did play in nickel packages, he did have some struggles in pass coverage. That’s not going to be as big of an issue on the weak-side of the formation, though, and it will be interesting to see if Davis can replace Scott’s run defense. Although Scott is no longer nearly the same intimidating monster he used to be in run defense, he is still above-average in that regard and won’t be easy to replace as a pass rusher either on delay blitzes.
Davis was actually expected to challenge Scott for the starting job in training camp, and that tells you just how much the Jets organization values this young linebacker. He has upside and had some nice tackle totals last season, so let’s see if he can put it all together as a starter; he certainly has the backing of Ryan and the team.
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