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Jet Up; New York Jets select Mekhi Becton with 11th pick in 2020 NFL Draft

This video is from 2006 but it still rings true today.  Let’s just say the New York Jets do not have the best history of drafting.  From Johnny Lam Jones to Kyle Brady to Dee Millner, the Jets have consistently always taken the wrong guy regardless of where they are in the first round of the NFL Draft.  Hell, they took Ken O’Brien over Dan Marino.

New(ish) General Manager Joe Douglas finally had the ability to leave his mark on a draft, as he was brought in last season after the 2019 NFL Draft.  The Jets have been known to take defensive players in the first round year after year, but Douglas stressed that they needed offensive line help to protect young quarterback Sam Darnold.

With the New York Giants taking Andrew Thomas fourth overall and the Cleveland Browns taking Jedrick Willis at number ten, the Jets were between two big linemen in Mekhi Becton of Lousville and Tristan Wirfs of Iowa.  The Jets chose the former with the 11th overall pick, and to me it was a fantastic pick.

To set the stage, the Jets weren’t sure if either were going to be available.  Becton and Wirfs both have top ten talent but it was up to the teams ahead of New York to see whether one or both would fall to them.  With the Miami Dolphins tanking for Tua and only two offensive tackles off the board, taking a tackle was a slam dunk.

I personally believe Becton was the better pick and I’ll tell you why.  Any man who is 6’7, 360 lbs and can run a 5.12 40 is an incredible athlete.  Becton is mean and can play either right or left tackle, although I’m sure Douglas will have him protecting Darnold’s blind side.

Positives

The two main positives for Becton are his ability to bully rushers with his run blocking and his size to keep them to the outside on passing downs.  He’s extremely limber for someone who’s 6’7 and although he’s had struggles with his weight, has worked extremely hard to get down to 360 lbs.

That kind of dedication to work his way down nearly 30 pounds is exactly what you look for in a young player.  The Jets needed a big bully to protect their young star and Becton is exactly that guy.  The last time the Jets picked an offensive lineman in the first round was when they took two All-Pros in D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold.

Negatives

The two biggest negatives on Becton are speculative.  First off, the biggest elephant in the room with him was the fact that he had a drug test flagged during the combine.  The details were not revealed but GM Joe Douglas had a long conversation with Becton and was assured that the drug test was not anything to worry about.

The more concerning negative was the fact that an anonymous scout stated that Becton loves “cooking and eating more than football”.  We’ve seen many talented linemen struggle with weight, including the extremely talented yet frustrating Nate Newton.  If Becton comes to the Big Apple and balloons, that’s going to be a huge problem.

However, it’s a bit unfair to peg Becton’s eating habits against him.  As mentioned before, Becton has been working his tail off to shed 30 pounds and get himself into shape.  He didn’t have any weight issues in his last year at Louisville and just because he likes to cook doesn’t mean he doesn’t love football.  If he loves to cook healthy meals and cheats once in a while that’s fine.  If he’s constantly cooking up different kinds of pastas and fried foods, then it may become an issue.

 

Overall I give the Jets’ draft so far a solid A-.  It’s almost silly to grade it at this point because 1) we don’t know what else the Jets are going to do and 2) we haven’t seen Bector play a snap in the NFL, but it’s the popular thing to do.  The Jets didn’t overthink this pick and did an excellent job picking up a huge contributor to their future and potentially a cornerstone lineman to build the offense around.

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Chris Passarelli
Football Editor - Hockey Editor - New York Islanders Lead Writer - New York Lizards Lead Writer - UConn Football Lead Writer
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