Few players on the NY Jets roster are under more pressure to succeed in 2023 than Mekhi Becton. Fresh off two injury-riddled seasons, Becton is hoping to re-establish himself as part of the Jets' offensive line both this year and for the foreseeable future.
Becton has gotten himself into the best shape of his career and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. His renewed motivation has many excited about his future with the team, but not everyone is a believer.
Bleacher Report's Alex Ballentine recently put together a list predicting every NFL team's "biggest bust" of the 2023 season, and for the Jets, the author chose Becton.
Ballentine highlighted Becton's injury history and suggested that he might not even be a starter for the team come Week 1. That does appear to be a possibility, at least as far as recent reports are concerned.
NY Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton is entering a make-or-break year in 2023
Becton is expected to enter the summer in competition with veteran Duane Brown for the starting left tackle job. However, the assumption is that it will be a "competition" in name only. If Brown is healthy, he's expected to start at left tackle.
That means Becton will likely be forced to compete for the starting right tackle job — a position he has been vocal about not wanting to play in the past. That might be his only path to a starting role, though.
The Jets went out and signed veteran Billy Turner and will return 2022 fourth-round pick Max Mitchell. Both Turner and Mitchell should be given an opportunity to earn the starting job in training camp. Becton won't be handed anything.
Becton is set to be a free agent at the end of the season after the Jets opted to decline his fifth-year option. Given that he's played just one game over the last two years, that was always going to be the likely outcome.
Becton will be afforded every opportunity to win a starting job this summer. The Jets are certainly hoping that the former first-round pick can not only stay healthy but prove to be a cornerstone of the team's offensive line in 2023.
If the Jets' offensive line is going to find success this season, they're going to need a healthy Becton to live up to expectations. While Becton undoubtedly has "bust" potential this season, the Jets are banking on him to stay healthy and play at a high level.