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Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good: The right tackle situation for the New York Jets

Mekhi Becton looks to set right what once went wrong

NFL: Preseason-New York Jets at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

As the expression goes, “sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.” Based on comments from General Manager Joe Douglas this week, I think he might say the same.

Specifically, I wanted to highlight what he said about current starting right tackle Mekhi Becton. Per Connor Hughes within that tweet, Douglas said:

Mekhi Becton was almost an afterthought for the Jets heading into this season. There was no plan to work him into the starting lineup. The summer began with Max Mitchell & Billy Turner competing for that starting job. Douglas said it’s been “awesome” to see how Becton took that job for himself. He said the energy he’s playing with is reminiscent of his rookie year and everyone remembers what “rookie Mekhi can do.”

So, to put this in context, the New York Jets built a theoretical super team helmed by a near 40 year old quarterback in Aaron Rodgers and then planned to have Max Mitchell or Billy Turner at right tackle as one of his main sources of protection. For reference, Max Mitchell and Billy Turner had Pro Football Focus overall grades of 55.5 and 56.3, respectively in 2023. Beyond that, they were even worse in pass protection with grades of 53.8 and 50.7, respectively. Oh, and Billy Turner? There wasn’t much of a track history of success during his 9 year career, as he’s never eclipsed an overall or pass blocking grade of 70.

But, hey, every team needs a stroke of luck along the way and Mekhi Becton may be that stroke of luck for the 2023 New York Jets. While Becton hadn’t played much at all since his near pro bowl rookie season in 2020, he picked up in the 2023 preseason right where he left off, earning a PFF grade of 80 and taking complete control of the starting right tackle position.

Fingers crossed the luck continues and the Jets continue to find some starters in unexpected places, because every Super Bowl winner seems to have contributions from guys no one was counting on when the offseason started.