NY Jets OT Mekhi Becton has one final opportunity to prove himself

NY Jets, Mekhi Becton
NY Jets, Mekhi Becton / Al Bello/GettyImages

When healthy, Mekhi Becton has shown that he can be a valuable asset to the NY Jets. That said, the "when healthy" part is key. Becton was drafted with the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and it's easy to see why, as he was an absolute stud in college.

During his freshmen year at Louisville, Becton started a total of 11 games and played in 13. Becton was also the highest-rated freshman in the country, per Pro Football Focus, during his first four games of the season. He allowed only six quarterback pressures on 312 snaps over his first seven games.

Come his sophomore year, Becton was named a starter for the 2018 season, and he would start every single game. He would continue to be a starter into the 2019 season as well, where he would go on to receive first-team All-ACC honors.

Becton would then declare for the 2020 NFL Draft, and the rest was history. Unfortunately for the Jets, however, things would not play out as they imagined, as injury issues would continuously keep Becton off the field.

After playing 14 games as a rookie, Becton would return to the Jets for the 2021 season. However, in the first game of the season, Becton suffered a serious knee injury. It would go on to be revealed that Becton suffered cartilage damage, which originally was supposed to sideline him for around six weeks, but this would turn out to be a season-ending injury.

As he looked to prepare for 2022, Becton's luck would not get any better. In August, during training camp, it was announced that Becton was diagnosed with an avulsion fracture of his right kneecap.

This injury would once again land Becton on the injured reserve and cause him to miss the entire 2022 season — a season in which the Jets really needed someone like Becton.

Looking ahead to the next season, what lies ahead? Is it fair to say that this could be Mekhi Becton's final opportunity to prove himself? Absolutely.

While Becton has genuine All-Pro upside, his injuries have prevented him from reaching his ceiling. Another injury-riddled campaign would be disastrous to both his Jets and NFL future.

If Becton could return to his pre-injury self and, more importantly, remain healthy, he could be a true star offensive tackle. The Jets have to make a decision on Becton's fifth-year option this offseason, and assuming they don't pick it up, this season will be his last on his rookie contract.

Becton has clearly been putting in the work this offseason to get in fantastic shape, which leaves a lot of fans feeling hopeful. If Becton has a good season, hopefully, he'll be on the Jets for years to come.

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On the other hand, if Becton gets hurt again or underwhelms on the field, it's probably time for the Jets to look elsewhere. Either way, this is Mekhi Becton's final chance to prove himself.