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Rookies Davis, Bush give Jets more cover men

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Posted May 18, 2012 @ 2:46 a.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

The Jets saw cover skills as important qualities when deciding to draft third-round LB Demario Davis and sixth-round S Josh Bush. Both players were little-known — Davis for being from a small school, and Bush for not being on many draft boards — but each has the speed that Rex Ryan clearly sought to help the Jets’ passing defense.

Davis will have a role in covering tight ends, and we hear the Jets’ brass was very impressed with his 4.52 40-yard dash at Arkansas State’s pro day. Davis will play inside linebacker and could be the heir apparent to Bart Scott. With his expected help in coverage, Davis may make things difficult for Josh Mauga to find a consistent role, as Mauga saw time in the team’s nickel last season but was inconsistent in coverage. The Jets don’t have to look far to understand the importance of having a linebacker who can cover. Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski has gone 14-170-2 in four regular-season games against the Gang Green, while Aaron Hernandez went 18-249-1 in the four contests.

Bush is a converted corner who told reporters the Jets had him clocked at 4.49 at his pro day at Wake Forest. Bush said he played a lot of man coverage in college and only moved to playing safety full time last year, when he had six interceptions. 

Davis and Bush won't start and may have to begin their careers carving out a niche on special teams. Yet, assuming they can factor into the team's sub package, the pair will get a fair amount of action considering the division-rival Patriots and Bills run spread offenses that need to be countered by more cover men.

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