As the NFL Draft began to unfold last month, Jets fans began to realize something that coaches and players have known for a long time: a team’s offense is centered around a sound offensive line.
Jets GM Joe Douglas apparently understands that coaching mantra when he went ahead and drafted Louisville tackle, Mekhi Becton, in the first round and the 11th pick overall.
Now that the draft hype is over and NFL teams are starting their planning phases in anticipation of receiving a “green light” from commissioner Roger Goddell to start training activities, the Jets have their work cut out for them and have to start implementing their 2020 draft choices into all three phases of the game.
Mekhi Becton stands out both literally and figuratively in the Jets draft class.
Since moving over from right tackle to left tackle his sophomore year at Louisville, Becton was instrumental in helping the Cardinals gain 5,815 all-purpose yards last season and averaged 33.08 points per game.
Becton’s physical dominance at 6’7″ and 364 means that he is one of the largest players ever drafted by the Jets and the first offensive lineman drafted since 2006. What makes Becton such as special O lineman is his speed – his 5.10 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine in February is now legendary. However, Becton’s’ dominance comes in his initial 10-yard bursts which is truly the measure of a football player’s “real” speed.
Joe Douglas will have to figure out how to protect the future of the franchise in QB Sam Darnold and that is exactly what left tackles do. Mekhi Becton is very good at his craft and will have a chance to dominate DE’s and edge rushers not only with his size but his speed and fast footwork as well. Despite his size and speed, Mekhi Becton plays with a chip on his very large shoulder.
Becton’s hunger to prove his ability to be a dominant O lineman is outlined by reporter Cameron Teague Robinson of the Louisville Courier-Journal:
“Even now, they talk about him being the best tackle in the NFL. That’s just kind of the mentality Mekhi has, and he has that work ethic. Going into last year, he wasn’t at all in the preseason on the All-ACC list, and I think he took that to heart…”
There are many challenges in front of Mekhi Becton this upcoming NFL season and likely he will make his presence in a Jets uniform known to teammates and opponents alike.
Featured Image: The Cardinal Connect