Mekhi Becton Jets

Is Jets rookie Mekhi Becton destined for right tackle in 2020?

June 13, 2020

When the New York Jets selected Louisville offensive tackle, Mekhi Becton, with the 11th pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, the immediate assumption was that he’d play left tackle and protect Sam Darnold’s blindside.

With the draft nearly two months in the rear-view mirror, a new strategy for Becton is beginning to make its rounds. Maybe, instead of lining up on the left side of the offensive line, he’ll best help the Jets this season as the starting right tackle.

Remember: New York signed Seahawks veteran George Fant in free agency with the expectation he’d start at left tackle. His three-year, $30 million contract is evidence of that.

According to former Saints general manager Randy Mueller, playing Becton on the right side makes a ton of sense.

“I think the Jets leave Fant at left tackle. His strength is his athletic ability and feet,” Mueller told Sports Illustrated. “He is most comfortable there. He should be fine on an island dancing with speed rushers. Where he will struggle is with anchor and holding his ground vs physical bull rushers. The Seahawks would very much have liked to keep the [Fant], they just could not pay that kind of money. The rookie should stay on the right side.”

The distinction between left tackle and right tackle, and the traits required to play each position, used to be an emphasis when evaluating offensive linemen. The left tackle was traditionally the more talented athlete while the right tackle is stronger and better equipped to hold up against power.

That’s not quite the case anymore. The evolution of edge rushers over the last decade has impacted how offensive tackles are viewed. Almost all pass rushers are high-level athletes now; you can’t get away with a lumbering offensive tackle on either side of the line. It’s also why Becton was such a highly-regarded prospect. Not only does he possess rare size and strength, but he’s a quality athlete who will hold up against speed rushers too.

Most teams struggle to find a competent left tackle. Having two quality options is a good problem for the Jets to have. Eventually, Becton will man the left side. For now, the offense will benefit from him playing right tackle as he acclimates himself to the NFL game.

Cris Carter
Is Cris Carter the best supplemental NFL draft pick of all-time?
By: Bryan Perez
July 1, 2020
Racey McMath
Senior Bowl director names underrated LSU player to watch ahead of 2021 NFL Draft
By: Bryan Perez
July 1, 2020
Madden 21
It’s Always Draft SZN: Madden 21 vent session (and more)
By: Bryan Perez
July 1, 2020
View Full Site