Jets’ Mekhi Becton needs to stay healthy to protect Aaron Rodgers
Mekhi Becton was drafted to star New York Jets offensive line. The Jets selected him 11th overall in 2020, which is a reasonable decision at face value. At the combine, Becton was 6-foot-7, over 350 pounds, with a 7-foot wingspan and huge hands.
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In early May, the Jets declined the fifth year of his rookie contract, making Becton a free agent after the following season. The reason for the Jets lack of faith in him injury. In three seasons, Becton played in just 15 games.
Becton believes he missed most of the last two seasons not because he was injury-prone and the Jets made a huge mistake with him in 2022. After his knee injury in 2021, the Jets moved him to left tackle. Becton says playing on that side in training camp weakened his right knee. You would end up with an avulsion fracture.
“It didn’t make sense to put him at left tackle,” Becton said Newsday Bob Glauber. I injured my right knee. This is going to be the knee that I put the most pressure on [in pass protection.] I explained [to the coaches]but no one cared.”
Becton also said his knee has been bothering him in training camp and claims that when he complained about it, all he got from the Jets was a demand that they treat him hard. His 2022 season ended on August 8 with the injury.
In the end, Becton is preparing for the season with the same intensity as he did in his contract year. He’s lost 40 pounds — Becton’s nearly 400 pounds — and has entered a contract-year conditioning zone in which he’s in “the best shape of his life.”
The only questionable position group on the Jets, their offensive line. If they had found a way to get Aaron Rodgers 10 years ago, this would be a solvable problem. Rodgers turns 40 in December. If the Jets want to get back to the Super Bowl for the first time since playing in the AFL, Rodgers needs to stay in the pocket and stay upright.
In order to adequately protect Rodgers, the Jets cannot have another season of going through multiple left tackles. Rodgers’ blind side needs to be covered, and Becton would be the best fit for that.
The lanky 340-pounder, desperate for a second NFL contract, could be the Jets’ x-factor. Becton is a truly impressive physical specimen. It’s like it was built on an assembly line, but someone made a mistake, which ended up being better than the rest.
First, he needs to move him back to left tackle, and most importantly for him and the Jets, Becton gets through the 2023 season in the vast majority of the Jets’ games. Health plus a deep playoff run next year is expected to equal the former No. 11 pick.