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Most important rookie-year stats for Joe Douglas’ 2020 draft picks

Denzel Mims
(Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)

Each player has many areas to improve, but Joe Douglas’ 2020 draft class generally showed a lot of promise throughout its first season.

Mekhi Becton: Pass/run balance

The most impressive aspect of Mekhi Becton‘s rookie season was how instantly refined he looked in both phases of the game – not just as a run blocker. Becton’s dominance in the run game seemed like a shoo-in to translate over to the NFL level thanks to his gifted size and athleticism, but his pass protection was a major question mark. Coming from a Louisville scheme that heavily utilized play-action rollouts to minimize the difficulty of the offensive line’s pass-blocking assignments, it appeared possible that Becton may struggle in protection as a rookie.

That did not turn out to be the case. Becton flashed brightly in both phases. At Pro Football Focus, Becton earned a pass blocking grade of 76.0 and a run blocking grade of 73.8. Tristan Wirfs was the only other rookie tackle to post a 76+ pass blocking grade and a 73+ run blocking grade. Wirfs played right tackle for Tampa Bay – the last rookie left tackle to eclipse those two marks was Buffalo’s Dion Dawkins in 2017.

Becton allowed a total of one or zero pressures in 8 of his 14 games, and he posted a run blocking grade of 70+ (typically good enough for top 10 among left tackles in a given week) in seven of his 14 games.

It was simply remarkable how NFL-ready Becton looked in all aspects of the game. With some minor technical tweaks, perennial stardom could be in his near future.

Denzel Mims: Downfield explosiveness on a per-reception basis

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