Mekhi Becton was recently named one of the NFL’s best tackles in an ESPN survey of executives, coaches, scouts, and players.
Mekhi Becton had a highly promising rookie season that was littered with dominant moments. New York Jets fans hold onto this fact dearly considering it was one of the few silver linings in a 2-win season.
However, it appears that Jets fans are not the only ones who were enamored by Becton’s play. The Louisville product caught the eyes of talent evaluators around the NFL as well.
ESPN released a ranking of the league’s projected top-10 offensive tackles in the 2021 season based on a survey of more than 50 executives, coaches, scouts, and players around the league.
Coming in at No. 6 was the Big Ticket.
“Becton is the classic eye-test guy,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler writes. “Watch him move and become a believer.”
One NFC executive said of Becton, “He’s generational in terms of athleticism and size … Very rare.”
An AFC scout continued to heap the praise, claiming Becton has “Hall of Fame traits.”
Fowler notes that there is projection involved with Becton’s sublime ranking considering that his rookie-year production was solid but not great.
“The 6-foot-7 Becton’s blocking numbers weren’t eye-popping last season. His 83.8% pass block win rate ranked 49th among tackles, but he battled through a chest injury as a rookie, and the Jets were a bad team. He ranked 16th in run block win rate (76%).”
Pro Football Focus was a bit more bullish on Becton, scoring him with a 74.4 overall grade that ranked 32nd out of 93 tackles (66th percentile). He earned a 73.9 run-blocking grade (75th percentile) and a 76.0 pass-blocking grade (66th percentile).
Becton was PFF’s highest-graded rookie left tackle, significantly beating out fellow first-round picks Andrew Thomas (62.4 grade, 33rd percentile), Jedrick Wills (61.5 grade, 24th percentile), and Austin Jackson (52.3 grade, 7th percentile).
ESPN’s offensive tackle ranking continues a series that will cover each position in the sport according to survey results from people within the league. The ranking process is described as follows:
“Voters gave us their best 10 to 15 players at a position, then we compiled the results and ranked candidates based on number of top-10 votes, composite average, interviews, research and film-study help from ESPN NFL analyst Matt Bowen. We had several ties, so we broke them by isolating the two-man matchup with additional voting and follow-up calls. Each section is packed with quotes and nuggets from the voters on every guy — even the honorable mentions.”
The primary goal of the series to identify the best players for the 2021 season, not taking into account past achievements or long-term outlook.
Fowler notes, “The objective is to identify the best players right now for 2021. This is not a five-year projection or an achievement award. Who’s the best today? Pretty simple.”
Even if the survey represents the opinions of only a small sample of evaluators, the fact that an unbiased group of qualified observers sees Becton as one of the six best tackles in the league at just 22 years old is an extremely encouraging sign regarding his future upside.