Facing the stiff challenge of Los Angeles’ Joey Bosa/Melvin Ingram duo, Mekhi Becton rose to the occasion and thoroughly dominated the elite pairing.
Mekhi Becton has already faced his share of top-notch EDGE talent this season – Nick Bosa, Justin Houston, Bradley Chubb, Frank Clark – but from the very beginning, the most daunting matchup on his rookie schedule always seemed to be the Chargers’ dynamic tandem of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. The two electric rushers move all over the line of scrimmage, switching sides on a regular basis and sometimes even lining up beside one another, creating nightmarish scenarios for a young tackle. A duel against this tandem promised to be a tremendous measuring stick for Becton’s progress.
Joe Douglas and the Jets have to be thrilled with how things transpired. Becton not only held his own, but he won the matchup in convincing fashion. Over 34 protection snaps, Becton was credited with zero pressures allowed, becoming the first left tackle to do that against the Chargers this season. In addition, he earned the best run blocking grade (82.5) at Pro Football Focus among all tackles (both left and right) in Week 11.
Let’s take a look at the film behind a marvelous performance that brought Becton one step closer to cementing his status as a future superstar.
For most, the main concern regarding Becton coming into the NFL was how he would up in one-on-one protection reps against high-level rushers. At Louisville, he benefited from an offense that heavily utilized play action, motion, and bootlegs to make life easy on the offensive line, minimizing the number of true one-on-one battles they had to take on.
With so few reps on tape of Becton handling legitimate pass sets that mirrored what he would be asked to take on in the NFL, it seemed like he would need a year or two to fully develop in that phase of the game.
That could not be further from the truth.
While he has not been perfect and has plenty of untapped potential left to unlock, Becton has looked incredibly refined for a rookie tackle coming out of an offense like Louisville’s, especially at his unusually large frame. He’s shown the footwork, hand technique, and overall fundamental soundness of a veteran, combining those tools with his raw physical gifts to flash top-tier pass protection upside.
In Los Angeles, Becton put plenty of reps on tape that encapsulate just how good he could become in protection.
On this play, Becton is left on an island against Bosa, who lines up at the 5-tech defensive end position with his hand in the dirt. Bosa attempts to sell a rip move to the inside and convert it into an outside spin, but Becton is all over it, mirroring him step-for-step. Becton wins the rep and Flacco gets time to deliver a 26-yard completion to Chris Herndon. This is the exact type of situation where many thought Becton would struggle, but he has held up in these scenarios more often than not. Excellent rep.