NY Jets: Grading and analyzing the Mekhi Becton draft pick

NY Jets (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets landed massive offensive tackle Mekhi Becton with their first-round pick. We take a look at the selection and assign it an initial grade.

The NY Jets went into the 2020 NFL Draft hoping to land one of the top offensive tackles in the class. And with a choice between two of the best, the Jets ultimately went for upside with the selection of Louisville’s Mekhi Becton.

As the draft unfolded, it became clear that the board was falling in a very favorable way for Gang Green. So much so that by the time the Jets were on the clock at pick No. 11, they had their choice between Becton and Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs.

Instead of opting for the polished but physically questionable Wirfs (some were concerned about his length), the Jets went with the high-upside Becton who will have nobody concerned about his physical stature.

Becton stands at a whopping 6-foot-7, 364 pounds making him one of the largest players in the entire NFL from day one. But for a player of such massive stature, the big man moves quite well.

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Back in January at the NFL Combine, Becton ran a blazing 5.11 40-yard dash which is quite impressive for a man of his size. Athletically, he’s as gifted as any of the other top tackles in the class.

It’s his overall refinement that has been called into question.

Becton isn’t the most technically sound prospect as he sometimes loses his balance in pass protection. On top of that, he tends to be over-aggressive with his blocks opting for contact as opposed to letting the play develop and back-pedaling.

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These are all things that could be fixed, but it might take some time.

Still, Becton will already enter the NFL as an elite run blocker using his massive frame to physically dominant opposing defenders. His tape is reminiscent of 2018 first-rounder Quenton Nelson in that he would just throw players aside with ease.

It’s quite pleasing to watch.

Combine his powerful and nasty demeanor with surprising agility and light-footedness and you have all the makings of a world-class offensive tackle with sky-high potential. If he were to reach his ceiling, he’d be a Hall of Famer.

And that’s not something to take lightly.

Of course, he will need to be coached up at the NFL level and learn to lean more on his technique and less on his physical traits in pass protection. Don’t expect him to be a dominant pass-blocker in Year 1.

That said, the pick is likely safer than many might initially think. Becton is already perhaps the most talented run blocker on the offensive line and will be a day one starter — likely at left tackle where he has the most experience.

That alone will make him a valuable upgrade in the short-term even if his pass protection skills aren’t up to par just yet.

There will be plenty who wanted Wirfs and for that, it’s hard to argue. The Iowa product is a more refined prospect than Becton, but some teams — the Jets likely included — thought he’d be a better fit as a guard due to his lack of length.

With Mekhi Becton, there aren’t any concerns with that. Not in the slightest.

Given the risk associated with the pick, it’s impossible to accurately assess how this pick will turn out.

Years from now, it could be viewed as an absolute steal that they landed one of the best offensive tackles in football outside of the top-10. Or it could be viewed as a massive failure and turn into a what-could’ve-been scenario.

But for now, we’ll give it a ‘B’ and play the waiting game.

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The upside is evident and he’s an immediate upgrade no matter how you look at it, but whether he could reach his ceiling or not with the Jets remains to be seen.

Final Grade: B