Mekhi Becton

Latest On Jets’ Mekhi Becton

Jets tackle Mekhi Becton will miss anywhere between four to eight weeks after undergoing knee surgery, according to head coach Robert Saleh. This is already a longer timetable than initially projected — early reports pegged Becton at 4-6 weeks.

The promising left tackle went through with a second opinion, which confirmed season-ending surgery would not be required. The Jets instead will hope this cartilage cleanup procedure, which is scheduled for Wednesday, will allow Becton to return this season (Twitter link via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler).

Becton, the Jets’ 2020 first-round pick, went down early in the season opener against the Panthers. The Jets went on to lose 19-14. Becton will be sorely missed for the next month or two, starting with Sunday’s tilt against the Patriots.

The Jets will deploy George Fant at left tackle while Morgan Moses mans the right side. The Jets are surely glad that they picked up the longtime Washington starter in June. Ideally, Moses would be serving as the No. 3 tackle behind Becton and Fant. But, with Becton out of action for several weeks, he’ll be playing a much more key role on the front five.

Moses went six straight seasons without missing a game for the Washington Football Team, but they opted revamp their tackle group with rookie Samuel Cosmi and ex-Bears LT Charles Leno. According to the advanced metrics, 2020 might have been Moses’ best year yet as he placed top-20 for tackles, per Pro Football Focus. Before that, the advanced metrics framed him as a middle-of-the-road blocker from 2017 through 2019.

In a best case scenario, the Jets could have Becton return after their bye. The next week, on 10/24, they’ll face the Pats for a second time.

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Jets Place T Mekhi Becton On IR

Jets tackle Mekhi Becton has been diagnosed with a knee cap dislocation (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). He’ll now have to undergo arthroscopic surgery and rest up for 4-6 weeks before he retakes the field. The Jets placed the second-year blocker on IR Tuesday.

Becton, the Jets’ 2020 first rounder, got his right leg caught between guard Greg Van Roten and Panthers defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon on Sunday. The Jets carted him off the field as the Sam Darnold-led Panthers went on to win 19-14.

The news could have been a whole lot worse, but it’s still a bad blow to the Jets’ offensive line. Without him, the Jets will call on Morgan Moses to play opposite of George Fant. Moses is a solid protector in his own right with lots of starting experience, but doesn’t offer the same kind of upside.

The 0-1 Jets will likely place Becton on the short-term injured reserve list, opening up a roster spot for a depth signing. It’s likely that they’ll add another tackle today or tomorrow as prepare for the Patriots on Sunday. Alternatively, they could promote one of their two tackles — Isaiah Williams and Grant Hermanns — from the 16-man practice squad.

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Jets’ Mekhi Becton Suffers Injury

Jets left tackle Mekhi Becton is believed to have suffered an MCL sprain during Sunday’s game (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). A forthcoming MRI will tell doctors more, but Becton’s probably looking at a short-term IR stint in a best case scenario.

This is not the first time Becton has run into trouble on the health front since coming to the Jets. The Louisville alum missed two games with a shoulder injury last season and exited another because of a chest ailment that affected his breathing. Then, this summer, he was slowed by a foot issue.

At 6-foot-7, 364 pounds, Becton is one of the largest players in NFL history. He’s playing at a lower weight in his second pro season, but no amount of conditioning can totally safeguard a player against injury.

The 2020 first-round pick got his right leg caught between teammate Greg Van Roten and Panthers defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon in the third quarter. The Panthers, and old pal Sam Darnold, went on to win 19-14.

Becton was still one of the league’s most impressive rookies last year and still profiles as a promising long-term option for the Jets — they haven’t had a stellar tackle since D’Brickashaw Ferguson retired years ago. But, in the short term, it sounds like they’ll have to look elsewhere.

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Jets’ Mekhi Becton Suffers Foot Injury

One of a few first-round tackles to make an impact as rookies last season, Mekhi Becton is in position to become a cornerstone player for the Jets. But Zach Wilson‘s blindside blocker will need some time off this summer.

Becton is battling a foot injury, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, who tweets plantar fasciitis will keep the second-year left tackle off the field for a time. While Becton is not expected to require surgery or miss training camp time, the Jets are keeping him off his feet for the time being.

This is not the first time Becton has run into trouble on the health front since coming to the Jets. The Louisville alum missed two games with a shoulder injury last season and exited another because of a chest ailment that affected his breathing. At 6-foot-7, 364 pounds, Becton is one of the largest players in NFL history. He is believed to have played at a higher weight than listed as a rookie, according to the New York Post’s Brian Costello, who notes the Jets levied discipline for this last year.

Becton still managed to suit up for 14 games in 2020 and was one of the league’s most impressive rookies. He profiles as the long-term option here the Jets have lacked since D’Brickashaw Ferguson‘s retirement. But unavailability has become a factor early in Becton’s career. If injuries continue to pile up for the talented lineman, this will become a central issue for the team.

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AFC East Notes: Newton, Dolphins, Jets

Cam Newton was reported Monday to be asymptomatic after his positive COVID-19 test, and with nothing changing on that front Tuesday, the Patriots quarterback could return to practice as soon as Thursday. While no other players on New England’s active roster tested positive, the team placed practice squad defensive tackle Bill Murray on its reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday. Murray did not make the trip to Kansas City, per NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran (on Twitter), but Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes the young defender did stay at the hotel near Gillette Stadium with teammates previously.

Here is the latest from the AFC East, moving first to the Dolphins’ quarterback situation:

  • Brian Flores did not commit to Ryan Fitzpatrick receiving a fifth start when asked earlier this week, but the Dolphins‘ second-year head coach did so Tuesday. Fitzpatrick will start against the 49ers. Flores said Tua Tagovailoa‘s 2019 hip injury remains a factor in the Dolphins’ decision-making. The former Alabama prodigy’s past injury issues have helped keep Fitzpatrick in the lineup. Fitz has thrown four touchdown passes, five interceptions and interestingly holds the league’s No. 9 QBR figure (75.3). But with questions about Fitzpatrick’s job status taking place before Week 5, Tagovailoa will surely make his debut this season.
  • Before ultimately deciding on the Giants, Logan Ryan was squarely on the Jets‘ radar. The most recent report indicated Jets GM Joe Douglas nixed a Ryan agreement because it leaked to the media, with contract demands almost certainly playing a role as well, but Ryan said during a radio interview with WFAN the Jets did not make an offer (Twitter link). Ryan estimated he talked to nearly every team this offseason, one in which he was a free agent for more than five months. Barring a Giants extension, the veteran defensive back is slated to be a free agent again in 2021.
  • The Jets did not plan on using injured left tackle Mekhi Becton last week, but replacement Chuma Edoga going down in the first quarter prompted them to reinsert their ailing starter into the lineup. Adam Gase said the nature of Becton’s injury would have prevented him from making it worse, calling it a pain-tolerance issue. The Louisville alum is said to be dealing with a capsule issue in his shoulder, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes. This pertains to the ligament surrounding the shoulder joint. Becton played just 17 snaps in Week 4. The first-round pick has played well when healthy but has seen this injury stall his development.
  • Gang Green may be without its left tackle and starting quarterback in Week 5. The Jets are not expected to play Sam Darnold against the Cardinals, with the team on track to proceed with caution after the quarterback was slammed to turf during the Jets’ loss to the Broncos.

Jets Sign Mekhi Becton

Done deal. The Jets have inked first-round offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The No. 11 overall pick will receive $18.45MM over the course of his four-year deal. 

Becton – who stands at 6’7″ and 364 pounds – has scouts all over the league buzzing. With Trent Brown’s bulk and a 5.1-second 40-yard dash, there was little doubt that he’d come off the board early. The Jets weren’t sure he’d be there at No. 11, but they were pleasantly surprised, and they pounced. Georgia’s Andrew Thomas was the first tackle to go at No. 4 overall to the Giants, and he was viewed as the safest of the bunch. Becton – who pushes trucks for fun – may have a higher ceiling.

Becton is coming off of a breakout season in which he registered 60 knockdown blocks and the Jets are counting on him keeping up the good work in 2020. Here’s the full rundown of the Jets’ class:

1-11: Mekhi Becton, T (Louisville): Signed
2-59: Denzel Mims, WR (Baylor): Signed
3-68: Ashtyn Davis, S (California)
3-79: Jabari Zuniga, DE (Florida): Signed
4-120: Lamical Perine, RB (Florida): Signed
4-125: James Morgan, QB (Florida International): Signed
4-129: Cameron Clark, OT (Charlotte): Signed
5-158: Bryce Hall, CB (Virginia): Signed
6-191: Braden Mann, P (Texas A&M): Signed

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AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Tua, Fitz, Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick is “really excited” to have Tua Tagovailoa in the Dolphins‘ locker room, as Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes. He gushed about the Alabama product in a chat with former Bills teammate Eric Woods, though he’s not quite ready to pass the torch as the team’s starting quarterback.

I also want to be out there playing,” Fitzpatrick said. “I also want to be on the field. And that’s why I’m still doing it, because I still enjoy playing the gameHopefully some of the lessons I’m able to teach him are from him watching me play. But if it’s the other way around, I’m going to do my best to help him succeed in the best way he can.”

Ultimately, the Dolphins will do what’s best for business, but Fitzpatrick may have a leg up on the rookie, thanks to his relationship with new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.

Chan and I have worked together for three years … He’s the guy who has given me the longest leash in my career in terms of being able to do things,” Fitzpatrick said. “And I trust him completely, and he has ultimate trust in me as well. This will be a little bit different in that if I’m out there playing there’s going to be a little bit longer leash because of the history we have together.”

Here’s more from the AFC East:

Buccaneers Eyeing Mekhi Becton?

The Buccaneers have their sights set on Mekhi Becton as Tom Brady‘s new protector, Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network hears. If they don’t get the Louisville product, Pauline hears that they’ll look to trade out of the No. 14 pick.

Becton – who stands at 6’7″ and 364 pounds – has scouts all over the league buzzing. With the size of Trent Brown and a 5.1-second 40-yard dash, he’s a virtual lock for the first round and a strong consideration for teams in the Top 10. Georgia’s Andrew Thomas may represent a “safer” option among this year’s top-flight offensive linemen, but Becton is viewed as the highest-ceiling tackle.

Last week, we learned that Becton popped positive at the NFL Combine, but that shouldn’t impact his stock all that much as the draft closes in. Becton is coming off of a breakout season in which he registered 60 knockdown blocks, and he’s a rare talent at a paper-thin position in the league. The Bucs, at No. 14, could very well represent his floor in tonight’s draft.

In any scenario, the Bucs figure to exit the first round with a top tackle. Earlier this year, they explored a deal for veteran Trent Williams that would have sent tight end O.J. Howard to the Redskins, but those talks have not been rekindled.

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Poll: What Will Giants Do At No. 4?

While the variance in this draft’s top three picks may be low, the Giants could go in a number of directions at No. 4 overall. They have been connected to several different strategies.

Picking in the top six for the third straight year (after never landing there from 2005-17), Big Blue has needs at a few places. The Giants could use help on the offensive line and at outside linebacker and safety. Based on the organization’s history and Dave Gettleman‘s impossible-sounding track record featuring zero trade-down maneuvers in seven drafts as either the Panthers or Giants GM, the Giants would be expected to hold their pick at No. 4. But noise about the team moving down has emerged.

Gettleman said this week he is seriously entertaining the prospect of moving down — something he did not strongly consider the past two years when the Giants took Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones. The Giants may be going as far as planting a seed about Justin Herbert interest. Gettleman was believed to be higher on Herbert than Jones last year. But with only two teams in the past 38 drafts using back-to-back first-round picks on quarterbacks — the 1982-83 Baltimore Colts and the Cardinals in the past two years — teams do not appear to be buying this.

With Chase Young a lock to be off the board by No. 4 and the Giants not expected to take a cornerback that high, they may be down to tackle or Clemson do-everything defender Isaiah Simmons. The Giants have not gotten what they paid for in Nate Solder and signed stopgap right tackle Cameron Fleming. The latter, however, could be used as a swing man — as he was in New England and Dallas — to open the door for a rookie to start at right tackle.

Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs has been linked to the Giants for several weeks. However, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, massive Louisville blocker Mekhi Becton and Alabama’s Jedrick Wills loom as possibilities as well.

The Giants are evaluating Simmons’ fit. He played everywhere from off-ball linebacker to safety to edge rusher to slot cornerback at Clemson. That kind of rare versatility prompted ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold to label him the draft’s top prospect.

While Simmons could help the Giants in multiple areas, Gettleman has preached offensive line development since arriving in December 2017. They also would be in a better position to address their edge rusher need with more picks, hence the greater interest in trading down.

So where what will the Giants end up doing at No. 4 overall? Vote in PFR’s latest poll (link for app users) and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.

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Rapoport’s Latest: Becton, Murray, RBs

Here is the latest on the upcoming virtual draft, courtesy of NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport:

  • D’Andre Swift profiles as many teams’ top-graded running back, and some are viewing the No. 26-32 range as the sector where he could land or even multiple running backs could go (Twitter link). Holding the No. 26 pick, the Dolphins are perhaps the most notable running back-seeking team in that range. They have been the team most closely connected to backs thus far. The Seahawks, Ravens, Titans, Packers, 49ers and Chiefs pick behind them.
  • Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray may be one of the highest-floor players in the draft, with Rapoport noting (via Twitter) no team has come through with a black mark against him. This represents obvious good news after Murray suffered a hamstring injury at the Combine. Before the NFL nixed pre-draft workouts and visits, Murray was scheduled to meet with 15 teams. It’s likely he spoke to many via video chat. Scouts Inc. grades Murray as the draft’s No. 25 prospect.
  • On that note, mammoth tackle Mekhi Becton has generated the most excitement from scouts, per RapSheet. The Louisville blocker goes 6-foot-7, 364 pounds. While his frame reminds of Raiders right tackle Trent Brown, the latter was a fifth-round selection. Becton, who somehow ran a 5.1-second 40-yard dash at that size, may well land in the top 10 and probably has the highest ceiling of all the tackle prospects.
  • A less exciting player, but one that might be a safer pick: Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas. Teams are calling the ex-Bulldogs blocker the most overlooked player who will go the highest, per Rapoport. Thomas could wind up in the top five, with Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline noting he is the favorite to be the Dolphins’ pick if they surprise most by not going quarterback at No. 5.
  • After the top four tackles go off the board, there figures to be a gap until the next one is picked. Houston tackle Josh Jones may be the player with the highest variance, with teams viewing him anywhere from a first- to a third-round choice, Rapoport adds. Jones grades as Scouts Inc.’s No. 50 overall prospect and seventh-ranked tackle — also behind Boise State’s Ezra Cleveland and USC’s Austin Jackson.
  • Going into what’s viewed as a deep draft at wide receiver, at least one GM views it as a historically deep all-around class. Said GM placed first-round grades on more than 32 prospects for the first time in his tenure, RapSheet notes.