New York Jets centerpieces Mekhi Becton and Quinnen Williams have been recognized among the league’s best rising stars.
In a recent roundup of the NFL’s brightest up and comers who will be under the age of 25 years old on Sept. 9 (the league’s opening Thursday night), NFL.com’s Nick Shook included two of the New York Jets‘ biggest stars (both figuratively and literally) – Mekhi Becton and Quinnen Williams.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) June 24, 2021
Becton, who just turned 22 years old on April 18, was named as one of the team’s two starting tackles, alongside right tackle Tristan Wirfs of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wirfs was drafted one spot behind Becton at No. 12 overall in the 2020 NFL draft.
The 6-foot-7, 364-pound Louisville product had an impressive rookie season on the strength of his remarkable pro-readiness. Everyone, their mother, and their great-grandmother knew about the upside that came along with Becton’s eye-popping physical attributes, but what the world did not know is how technically and fundamentally sound he would be in his first year.
Becton’s consistency and two-phase proficiency were the most exciting aspects of his rookie season.
In terms of consistency, Becton never had a truly awful game over his 14 appearances. Save for a game against the Broncos in which he played hurt and left early after only 17 snaps, Becton posted an overall Pro Football Focus grade of at least 60.0 in each of his other 13 games.
He always found a way to affect the game positively, thriving in the run game when he struggled in pass protection and vice versa. Becton earned a 70.0+ grade in one or both of the two phases (run blocking and pass blocking) in all of his 13 games outside of the Denver contest.
When it comes to two-phase proficiency, Becton surprised many with his production as a pass blocker in addition to the run-blocking prowess that most assumed he would easily carry over to the NFL. Becton had a 76.0 pass-blocking grade (66th percentile among qualified tackles) and a 73.9 run-blocking grade (75th percentile).
Quinnen Williams was named one of the team’s two starting interior defensive linemen, joining Jeffrey Simmons. The Mississippi State product was selected 16 spots after Williams in the 2019 draft.
Williams is 23 years old and will turn 24 on December 5 during this upcoming season. He is coming off of a wonderful second season in which he developed into one of the best two-way interior defenders in football.
According to PFF, Williams led interior defensive linemen with 2.2 run stops per game and ranked 12th at the position with 3.0 pressures per game.
Williams picked up a run stop on 14.0% of his snaps against the run and created pressure on 10.3% of his snaps against the pass. He was the only interior defensive lineman in the league with a rate above 10.0% in both phases.
The Jets have themselves a future anchor in the trenches on each side of the ball.