5 players most integral to the NY Jets' success in 2022

NY Jets, Zach Wilson
NY Jets, Zach Wilson / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets, Mekhi Becton
NY Jets, Mekhi Becton / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

2. Mekhi Becton, OT, NY Jets

The Jets need Mekhi Becton to stay healthy and play well in 2022. Despite the persistent offseason rumors that they could replace Becton, the Jets opted to put their faith in their young tackle.

Now, it's up to Becton to reward them for that faith.

The 2020 first-round pick looked well on his way toward establishing himself as the Jets' left tackle of the future following an extremely promising rookie season. It's easy to forget now, but Becton was widely seen as one of the rising stars around the league.

In fact, a June 2021 poll of 50 NFL executives, scouts, coaches, etc. ranked Becton as the sixth-best offensive tackle in the entire NFL entering the 2021 season. That was less than 12 months ago.

Of course, a lot has happened in those 12 months. Becton reportedly struggled in the summer, suffered a serious knee injury that sidelined him for the entire 2021 season, and was the subject of various rumors relating to his weight and work ethic.

But in reality, we haven't been able to properly analyze Becton since his rookie season. And he was damn good as a rookie.

The Jets don't have the luxury of quality offensive tackle depth at the moment. If Becton gets hurt or underperforms, all the Jets have are Conor McDermott, Chuma Edoga, and fourth-round rookie Max Mitchell to throw out there.

The team is putting all their eggs in the Becton basket. His performance/health will dictate the success of the Jets' offensive line and, in many ways, the offense as a whole.