Mekhi Becton's tackle dreams crushed after latest Eagles camp buzz

Mekhi Becton is playing guard in practice
Mekhi Becton
Mekhi Becton / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't long ago — nearly 13 months to the day — that now-former NY Jets offensive lineman Mekhi Becton proudly proclaimed in a since-deleted social media post, "I AM A LEFT TACKLE." Just over a year later, Becton's proclamation is no longer accurate.

Becton signed a one-year, $2.75 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason with the hopes of revitalizing a career that has been derailed by injuries and inconsistent play.

While Becton isn't expected to start for the Eagles, he joins one of the most talented offensive lines in the NFL and will be coached by arguably the league's most renowned offensive line coach, Jeff Stoutland.

As it turns out, Stoutland has plans for Becton that extend beyond what the Jets envisioned for their former first-round pick. The Eagles have been playing Becton at guard this spring.

Former NY Jets offensive lineman Mekhi Becton is moving to guard

With starting left guard Landon Dickerson excused from mandatory minicamp due to a personal reason, Becton has been working with the first-team offense at left guard.

Stoutland has spoken highly of Becton's versatility, and the Eagles seem to believe he can contribute as important depth at both tackle and guard. That's a stark difference from how the Jets viewed Becton during his time with the organization.

The plan doesn't seem to be for Becton to permanently move to guard, seeing as reports suggest the former Louisville standout practiced as the second-team right tackle during OTAs. Instead, he will serve as a backup at both spots.

Becton was once viewed as the Jets' long-term left tackle of the future, and following a very encouraging rookie season, that future seemed bright. Unfortunately, consecutive season-ending knee injuries altered those plans, and Becton was out the door following his fourth season in New York.

Becton stayed healthy last season, appearing in 16 of 17 games, although his struggles on the field were evident. The 25-year-old allowed an NFL-worst 12 sacks and ranked bottom-five in total pressures allowed amongst offensive tackles. He also ranked second with a whopping 18 penalties.

Nonetheless, the hope is that Becton can salvage his potential in a near-perfect situation with the Eagles. He'll have the opportunity to grow behind some of the best offensive linemen in the NFL and learn from maybe the best offensive line coach in the league.

Becton consistently struggled with speed rushers last season, so a move inside to guard does make some sense, even if he is an outlier at his size. A move to guard could mask Becton's struggles in pass protection while highlighting his strengths as a run blocker.

There's no better landing spot for Becton to revitalize his career than Philadelphia. Perhaps his dreams of being a full-time left tackle are on life support, but that doesn't mean he can't still put together a long and successful NFL career.

Proving his value through versatility is the first logical step toward making that a reality.