In the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Jets were looking for a potential franchise cornerstone on their offensive line. Joe Douglas had his hands full between choices such as Iowa’s Tristian Wirfs, Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, and others. The first draft pick in the Joe Douglas era was former Louisville offensive tackle, Mekhi Becton.
Coming out of college, Becton was considered an extremely boom or bust prospect. While scouts were impressed with his length and long arms, teams also had significant, major concerns regarding his weight. Though offensive linemen typically weigh a lot, Becton’s weight was over 360 pounds during the draft, which is a bit excessive.
As a rookie in 2020, Becton joined a much different-looking offensive line from the year prior. Since New York’s offensive line was putrid in 2019, general manager Joe Douglas tried to improve it in several vital areas heading into 2020 and left tackle was one of them.
Becton’s Solid Rookie Season with Nagging Injury Issues
To begin the 2020 campaign, alongside Becton on the Jets offensive line were Connor McGovern, Alex Lewis, George Fant, and Greg Van Roten. A big difference from 2019, and mainly in a good way. No way around it; the line was pitiful in 2019.
Mekhi Becton was solid in 2020 for the most part. However, he was far from perfect. Becton allowed seven sacks, the most on the team, and four more than bookend right tackle George Fant. While none were severe, the rookie tackle dealt with a nagging injury during his rookie season, and a good reason for that may have been his weight. The injury occurred in Week 4 against the Broncos to his shoulder, where head coach Adam Gase made Becton stay in the game, which was a very poor choice.
Though the team wasn’t worried about his long-term future, it was necessary to note that possible injuries were a major red flag coming out of Louisville. In my opinion, Becton was going to be a massive part of the Jets future after 2020, but his size was still an injury risk.
Sophomore Campaign Raises Concerns over Becton
Coming off a solid rookie season, Mekhi Becton had the expectations to be an elite left tackle in 2021. Despite struggling in training camp, Becton’s bar was set extremely high in 2021.
In the second half of New York’s Week 1 match in Carolina, Mekhi Becton’s season came to a devastating end. The second-year tackle suffered a dislocated right knee cap. The injury kept him out for the remainder of the 2021 season—a crushing injury.
At first, reports said the recovery process from the injury was only four to eight weeks. However, since Becton weighed nearly 370 pounds, the recovery process took a full season. As a result, many fans, including myself, were trying to figure out when he would see the field again during the 2021 season.
Not only did Becton’s injury knock him out for the rest of the season, but Joe Douglas was also faced with the question of either keeping him or not in the offseason. But, ultimately, he is still a Jet.
After his significant injury last season, Mekhi Becton’s future with New York was in jeopardy.
2022 Injury Likely Seals the Deal
Coming into OTA’s and training camp, Mekhi Becton needed to show up every day he could. Aside from the birth of his newborn son in April and voluntary minicamp, Becton showed up to practice. However, the coaching staff was very cautious and tried to ensure he was in the best shape possible.
Unfortunately, in early August, disaster struck. Becton suffered a season-ending injury to his kneecap, and he won’t play in the 2022 season. So Becton is out for the year, and his time in green and white is also more likely over.