Continuing to hold out hope for Mekhi Becton to return to action, the Jets are not expected to have the young tackle participating in offseason workouts. After the avulsion fracture Becton suffered during the Jets’ 2022 training camp, ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini notes the fourth-year blocker should not be expected to participate in either OTAs or minicamp.
Becton went down during an August 8 practice, but after a second knee surgery since his previous injury — in September 2021 — the Jets are not rushing the former first-round pick back. And the Louisville product is on track to be ready for training camp.
In addition to moving toward a recovery, Cimini adds Becton has lost more than 40 pounds during this rehab effort. Becton’s weight has been a concern since the start of his career. He has been linked to weighing more than 400 pounds at points during his Jets tenure, but Cimini indicates that scrutinized number now sits around 350. The Jets moved Becton to right tackle before that injury, but their tackle situation will probably change early in the draft.
Last season brought an avalanche of Jets tackle injuries. After Becton went down, the player paid handsomely to fill in — Duane Brown — suffered a shoulder injury that required a season-opening IR stay. Brown later underwent surgery but is planning to a play a 16th season. The Jets later lost George Fant for much of the season; Fant remains a free agent. The team lost Max Mitchell to a hereditary blood-clot issue in early December. The 2022 fourth-round pick started five games last year, joining Conor McDermott and Mike Remmers as emergency options. Remmers and McDermott are no longer on the team, but Cimini adds Mitchell has recovered.
Connor McGovern joins Fant in being unsigned. Vera-Tucker will return to guard, after spending time at right tackle due to the team’s injury troubles there, with Laken Tomlinson entrenched at the other guard spot. Due to the questions the Jets face at tackle, ESPN.com’s Todd McShay notes it is “close to a lock” the Jets bolster this position with their No. 13 overall pick. While the Packers are still believed to want a first-rounder from the Jets for Aaron Rodgers, the team’s No. 13 pick this year is not expected to change hands.
As Becton has played one game over the past two seasons, virtually no chance exists the Jets will pick up his fifth-year option. The Jets have a long-term need at left tackle, with Brown set to turn 38 this year, and cannot exactly count on Becton staying healthy. Mel Kiper Jr. sends Georgia tackle Broderick Jones to the Jets at No. 13, a move that would mark the team’s third first-round O-line pick in four Joe Douglas drafts.
Becton showed considerable promise as a rookie, but injury and fitness issues have hounded him since. He represents an interesting wild card for the Jets, who are searching for O-line stability with a Rodgers trade imminent.