NY Jets: 3 interesting things to know about Mekhi Becton
By Justin Fried
NY Jets first-round pick Mekhi Becton is a captivating person both on and off the field. We take a look at three interesting facts about the Louisville product.
The NY Jets decided to address their offensive line in a big way — both literally and figuratively — with the selection of Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The plan is for Becton not only to start from day one at left tackle, but to be the long-term answer at the position. Jets fans will be hoping that the team has found their next D’Brickashaw Ferguson in the former of the colossal Becton.
And due to his fun-loving persona and top-notch Twitter game, Becton is already well on his way to becoming a fan-favorite.
I mean just look at this guy, how can you not love him?
Becton has quickly endeared himself to Jets faithful and while he still has a long way to go before he could be considered a true long-term building block, the potential is evident.
But just who is Mekhi Becton? Who is the man behind the Jets’ No. 11 overall draft choice?
Let’s take a look at three interesting facts about the Jets’ latest first-round pick.
Next: 3. He's a freak of nature
3. He’s a freak of nature
Look, it should essentially be common knowledge at this point that Becton is an absolute freak of nature. At 6-foot-7, 364 pounds, Becton enters the NFL as the second-heaviest player in the league behind Las Vegas Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown.
Few to play the game have ever been able to match-up physically with the enormous stature of Becton, but it’s the things that he’s able to do at that size that are downright unheard of.
Becton famously ran a 5.10 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine which is ridiculous for a player of his size. The similarly-sized Brown ran a 5.29 back at his Combine showing, nearly 0.2 seconds slower than Becton.
But it isn’t just his speed and agility that’s impressive — his overall fitness is absurd for someone as large as he is. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Becton was measured at the Combine as having an unreal 17 percent body fat.
If you were wondering, the average body fat on a healthy adult male is between 18 and 24 percent. At 364 pounds, Becton has less body fat than the average healthy male his age.
That just doesn’t make sense — but it’s true.
Becton’s blend of size, athleticism, and fitness is reminiscent of Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden. Obviously, he’ll need to clean some things up with his overall technique to get to that level, but that’s a pretty impressive player to draw comparisons to.
In a league full of athletic freaks, there may be none freakier than Mekhi Becton.
Next: 2. He played both football and basketball in high school
2. He played both football and basketball in high school
For a player as large and athletic as Becton is, it would have been a waste to the athletic world to focus all of his attention on one sport. So rather than confine himself to one activity, Becton played both football and basketball in high school.
As a 330-pound senior, Becton excelled at Highland Springs High School in Virginia both on the gridiron and on the court. His mother, Semone, even believed that Mekhi could have played Division-I basketball if he wanted to.
Ultimately, Becton opted to stick with football and attended Louisville after originally showing a lot of interest in Virginia. But that doesn’t take away from his accomplishments on the hardwood.
Just take a look at this video of Becton dunking in high school for a further look at what it was like to see him on a basketball court.
END OF Q3: Mekhi Becton dunks it right before the buzzer for #HighlandSprings! They lead #Meadowbrook 48-43 pic.twitter.com/29XdCXDSPY
— Josh Mathews (@JoshMathewsRVA) January 25, 2017
That’s a scary sight.
Becton’s basketball background fits in well with what general manager Joe Douglas has looked to do this offseason. The Jets also brought in free agent George Fant to compete for playing time at offensive tackle and the veteran shares a similar basketball background to Becton.
Douglas is looking for athletic freaks along the offensive line who come from multi-sport backgrounds. And Becton certainly fits that profile.
Next: 1. He had to prove his age with his birth certificate
1. He had to prove his age with his birth certificate
Becton has always been large for his age. Throughout school, he was known as the “big kid” because of how large he was compared to others in his age group.
Per a story from the Louisville-Courier Journal, Becton was even asked to use two foam mats instead of the customary one to sit in the group circle by his kindergarten teacher until his mother intervened.
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That’s just who he was and he was forced to accept his differences. And as he got older, Becton was constantly asked to prove his age to opposing youth football teams that simply didn’t buy that a player his size was as young as he was.
This became so much of an issue that his mother was forced to carry around his birth certificate as she would her own driver’s license to prove his age to officials who thought that he was too old for the league.
He later was given the nickname “Big Ticket” by a guy who was helping him with the recruitment process. Becton has always out-sized his competition and that will continue to be the case in the NFL.
From the “big kid” in grade school to the “Big Ticket” nickname he later adopted, Becton has always been defined by that three-letter word.
And now, he has a chance to be the next big thing in the Big Apple.