After concluding the 2020 NFL season, finishing with a record of 2-14, and on the brink of utter collapse, the NY Jets knew they had to make a change.
That change had consisted of firing their head coach, trading their once franchise-hopeful quarterback, and reevaluating the entire roster from the top-down.
During that painful, heart-wrenching season of lost games and embarrassment, there was somehow a glimmer of hope that had continued to be acknowledged throughout the team’s entire 2020 campaign.
Offensive tackle Mekhi Becton had taken on his role with a fistful of fierce attitude and passion. Entering the league as a 21-year-old rookie out of Louisville, Becton played the left tackle position as if he were a seasoned pro. The Jets knew what they had in Becton the minute he stepped on the practice field at One Jets Drive.
One problem, the remaining four on the offensive line were an uncertain catastrophe.
General manager Joe Douglas isn’t one to sit around and continue to monitor a unit that has been so inept for the longest time. A change was imminent.
That change came on Thursday night, the opening night of the 2021 NFL Draft.
The NY Jets made a necessary change by trading up for Alijah Vera-Tucker
The Jets, with BYU quarterback Zach Wilson already secured with their No. 2 overall selection, had a decision to make once the latter part of the top-10 came around. The Jets understood what they had on the offensive line.
A hopeful franchise left tackle, and a center, along with a right tackle, who are anticipated to make a noticeable improvement in a fresh offensive scheme. Most importantly, a flurry of offensive guards who are more than replaceable.
The Jets made their move, making a phone call to the Minnesota Vikings, hopeful of executing a trade that would bring USC offensive guard Alijah Vera-Tucker to the Big Apple.
The Jets traded their No. 23, No. 66, and No. 86 overall selections in exchange for Minnesota’s No. 14, and No. 143 to select the highly regarded lineman out of Southern California.
The trade works wonders for all parties involved, though for the Jets, it fills a need that has been lingering over this franchise’s shoulders for far too long.
The Jets knew they had to address the offensive line at some point within the draft. The team played it aggressively, overpaying by some standards, to select whom many consider the best offensive guard in his class.
Alijah Vera-Tucker will look to bring stability to a position that has been, to some, the most unstable throughout many sour seasons.
The Jets made the right choice. Successful organizations don’t sit back and rely on luck to bring them a franchise-changing player — they proactively try to do something about it.
The Jets did something about it. And along with a wide-eyed, joyous Joe Douglas, Mekhi Becton is the one smiling.