It seems a bit silly to give out Draft grades mere hours after a selection is made. The success of a pick will not truly be known until years after it is made. That doesn’t stop people from trying.
What do the experts think about the Jets’ selection of Mekhi Becton.
As always keep in mind that Draft grades are stupid...unless they praise the Jets.
11. New York Jets: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
This was a smart move by the Jets. They could have taken a wide receiver here, but decided it was more important to block for young franchise quarterback Sam Darnold. Becton is a physical specimen who moves around with ease despite being 360 pounds. The Jets can find receivers later in the draft. They can’t find a blocker like Becton.
11) New York Jets: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville — We had Tristan Wirfs rated higher, and Becton’s weight control will be an issue, but new GM Joe Douglas’ first pick is a massive gamble on upside. Becton has a rare, generational combination of size and athleticism – with elements of his game that need cleaning up. Grade: B-.
11. New York Jets: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
I had one condition for the Jets to earn a strong grade with this pick: Just take someone who will help Sam Darnold’s development. Becton has a good chance to do just that. The 6-foot-7, 364-pound tackle is an astoundingly easy-moving big man (his 5.1-second 40-yard dash at the combine clocked in faster than any player over 350 pounds, ever) who brings light feet, length, and balance in pass protection and some spit and vinegar in the run game. As a former high school hooper, he plays with good bend and knows how to use his massive frame to his advantage, administering a forceful punch and strong grip to engulf opponents. He literally throws defenders around and plays with a nasty streak.
Becton is a bit raw in his pass protection techniques and relies a little too much on his size and power at times. He’s the poster child of Planet Theory—there simply aren’t that many human beings walking around with this guy’s size and athleticism—and that gives him almost limitless potential. But because of that lack of refinement, he comes with a little more risk than the other big four (Thomas, Wills, Tristan Wirfs, the others) at the position. Becton came in at no. 11 on my Big Board and comes off the board at no. 11 to the Jets.
11. Jets, OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
Grade: B. Here’s the thing on Becton, he’s a freak athletically. He has a tendency to get really heavy and that’s a concern. If he can keep his weight in check and be dedicated to his craft, he’s going to be a good football player.
New York Jets
Draft pick: Louisville OT Mekhi Becton (No. 11 overall)
Day 1 grade and analysis: A
Becton is a people-mover. Guys weighing over 360 pounds should not bend and move like he does. If Lamar Jackson was still in Louisville, everyone would have been slobbering over Becton all year long. He has experience on both sides of the line because the Cardinals have flipped alignments in the past, so the Jets can play him across from George Fant at right tackle. They needed to upgrade the line, and now they have via free agency and the draft.
11. New York Jets: OT Mekhi Becton
By the end of last season, the Jets were playing with four backup offensive linemen, and that lineup actually played better than the starting unit had played. The point? They need more O-line talent. Becton has that. He’s the largest man to enter the league since right tackle Trent Brown, who earned a $36.25 million guaranteed contract with the Raiders in 2019. He played left tackle at Louisville, and plugging him in there would let ex-Seahawk George Fant, who was signed for three years and $27.3 million ($5.85 million guaranteed), play right tackle, where he’s probably better suited. Becton might have some pass-blocking mechanics to clean up, but he should be a Day One starter.
Mekhi Becton | OT | Louisville
The Jets have some solid veterans at both tackle spots, but they needed a long-term solution, particularly on the left side to protect their investment in Sam Darnold.
Becton is a massive mountain of a man who destroys his opponents and tosses them out of the club on a regular basis. Questions about a flagged drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine clearly didn’t keep the Jets from spending a premium pick on him.
Becton has some boom-or-bust to him, but the upside is massive. He’s Darnold’s franchise left tackle. Tristan Wirfs was higher on my board, but Becton may be a better fit on the left side.
11. New York Jets
Mekhi Becton, Tackle, Louisville
Strengths: Size, power, upside
Weaknesses: Technical issues
You may have seen Becton pushing a truck in a viral video in March. You may also have once pushed a truck all by yourself. Seriously, it’s not all that hard. I did it to my beat-up old Sonoma a few times as a younger dude; Nowadays, I get winded behind a shopping cart. At any rate, Becton ran a 5.1-second 40-yard dash at 364 pounds and bench-pressed 23 reps of 225 pounds at the combine, two things neither you nor I have ever been capable of.
Becton looked like an uncle who suited up with the Pop Warner team when lined up next to his Louisville teammates. Google Maps says it’s a 10-minute trip to drive around him, he can swallow pass-rushers who let him latch on, and at times, he simply swatted linebackers and defensive backs aside with a casual flick of his arms.
Becton also has better quickness and leverage than you would expect from a man his size. But he was an odd fit in a Louisville offense that often had him moving laterally or cut-blocking along the backside instead of just walloping the man in front of him. There’s lots and lots of tape of a 350-pound road-grader trying to play like a 270-pound Alex Gibbs-style zone blocker, and the results were often suboptimal.
“It’s just fun seeing a man on the ground every play and then going to jump on him,” Becton said at the combine. “That’s what I love about the game.” That’s what we love about Becton’s game, too. He has the potential to be a special lineman if the Jets just let him haul off and shove defenders all over the field like they were nothing more than (midsize) pickup trucks in neutral.
The Jets haven’t drafted an offensive lineman in the first or second round since Vlad Ducasse in 2010. Sam Darnold and the Jets QBs were sacked 52 times last year. And the team averaged 3.3 yards per rush. And their big free-agent upgrades this offseason were center Connor McGovern (fair enough, he’s good) and Seahawks sixth lineman George “Reporting as an Eligible Receiver” Fant.
So Becton represents the Jets finally getting real about fixing their offensive line. Now they just need to get real about fixing every other position except safety. Oh, and paying their top safety.
What grade do you give the Jets for picking Mekhi Becton?
This poll is closed
I (for Idzik)