The selection of Mekhi Becton is an important first step in the remake of the New York Jets. So says NFL reporter Mike Florio and former NFL quarterback Matt Simms.
In comments made last week on NBC Sports’ PFT Overtime, Florio and Simms debated the impact of Becton on the offensive line. The Jets first round pick, taken No. 11 overall out of Louisville, will have an impact at left tackle and is currently projected as a Week 1 starter according to the two analysts.
The well-sourced Florio called Becton “the first marquee left tackle since D’Brickashaw Ferguson retired prematurely.”
“I think this is one of the staples or things to look forward to if you’re a Jets fan in the Joe Douglas/Adam Gase era going forward,” Simms said.
“Joe Douglas, we talked about it before…He comes from Baltimore, he comes Philadelphia. What do they do? They kick people’s butts up front. That’s what the mantras have been for those two teams in the recent past, and even longer than that for the Ravens. Yea, this is the mark that Joe Douglas has made, he’s a mountain of a man. And we’re talking about him because he’s a top 10 pick and all of that.”
Heading into the offseason, the offensive line was the biggest concern for the Jets. A season ago, it was arguably the worst unit in the NFL. Now, with the drafting of Becton as well as three new starters signed in free agency, the line is significantly better.
Florio and Simms, however, focused singularly on Becton’s impact. The 6-foot-7, 364 pounds left tackle was an All-ACC selection last year and named the conference’s best blocker. The belief from the PFT duo is that there will be a trickledown effect with the introduction of Becton on the line.
“This is a big guy who likes being big, and likes being mean,” Simms said.
“I think it is just something to look at – to kind of set a new attitude for the Jets which is exciting. They couldn’t open up a hole for anything last year for Le’Veon Bell. You talk about Mekhi Becton and George Fant in free agency, and Connor McGovern, a big time guard from the Denver Broncos. And Alex Lewis, who was in Baltimore before. And Greg Van Roten.
“So they made very quiet, under the radar value signings with a top 10 pick at left tackle to improve their offensive line to where I think it is going to make their offense better and have a different look this year. I think they’ll be able to depend on that O-Line and keep people out in routes and, of course, open up some holes in the run game.”