Image Credit: Louisville Athletics
Ladies and gentlemen, there it is. Mekhi Becton is now a professional football player and the newest addition to the Jets offensive line. Becton, who measures at 6-7, 340 pounds, was drafted for one purpose – to bully defensive lineman. That’s not to say Becton isn’t a quick tackle. Going into the NFL combine, many fans wanted to see for themselves the rumors of the massive lineman with exceptional speed. Mekhi delivered – running an impressive 5.11 40. Becton isn’t just some massive brick wall you put on your blindside and hope nobody runs around him – he has the agility to meet that threat head-on.
Mekhi’s pure talent and force of will was one of the driving factors behind the Louisville’s stunning 2019 campaign. The team was famous for the offensive capabilities of quarterback Michale Cunningham and running back Javian Hawkins. Just looking at surface-level stats doesn’t tell the full story, nor gives all credit where it is due. Sure, Javian Hawkins’ speed helped post many breakaway runs for massive gains – but the massive hole made by Mekhi may have sprung him. Cunningham put up great numbers on the ground and through the air this season and led his team to a bowl win. But Becton staved off some of the best pass rushers in the ACC, giving Cunningham the chance to read the defense, make the throw, and get the wins.
Many left tackles are narrowed into categories of which offense they fit into better – “run first” offenses, “heavy passing”, or so-called “pro style” offenses. But to categorize Becton as being a true member of any one offense is unfair. Becton has the quickness to protect a quarterback on shot plays. He also has the strength and mass to open holes for running backs. Whatever he’s asked to do, he can do well. Time and again, he stood up the toughest defensive lineman in the ACC. Time and again, he stopped blitzing corners and linebackers in their tracks. And time and again, he anchored the offensive line, using his talent to lead the offensive line through one of the most surprising turnarounds of 2019.
But the Size!
Some detractors say he has glaring shortcomings. One anonymous pro scout said that Mekhi cooks too much for his taste. Others are rumored to be worried about his ability to stay at his sweet-spot weight. But make no mistake – Mekhi isn’t fat, he’s BIG. He’s muscle, bone, blood, and bad news for any defensive lineman who meets him eye to eye on the line of scrimmage.
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How he Fits
The New York Jets had been needing of an offensive lineman, a young talent to help rejuvenate their line and protect the blindside for franchise quarterback Sam Darnold. And believe me, they got just the man they were looking for when they drafted Mekhi. They added a young, talented piece to what could be a top-tier offensive line. Becton could be the best Louisville offensive tackle in the pros since Joe Jacoby. Jacoby was an integral piece of the famous “Hogs” offensive line piledrove Washington to three Super Bowls. So I have but one piece of advice for the coaches of all the other teams in the AFC East – pray.