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NY Jets OT Mekhi Becton acknowledges critics on social media

Mekhi Becton, NY Jets, Twitter, Instagram, Weight
Mekhi Becton, New York Jets, Getty Images

Mekhi Becton knows about the narratives surrounding him

It’s safe to say that New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton went through the wringer in his second NFL season. While he wasn’t beat by opposing defensive ends, he instead suffered a brutal knee injury that knocked him out for the season in Week 1.

Throughout his absence, the Jets’ beat and other media reported Becton wasn’t exactly committed to his rehab and getting back on the field. Whether he was labeled “overweight”, “lazy”, or as someone with a “bad work ethic”, fans and media were sure to lay all of the criticisms out there.

The 22-year-old offensive lineman seems to be well aware of the narratives surrounding him in the public eye.

On Tuesday, Becton reposted an Instagram graphic by CBS Sports titled “Critical Moves Each Team Should Make”. Put together by NFL reporter Jason La Canfora, the “critical move” for the Jets involved a worst-case scenario with their star left tackle.

via Instagram/@big.ticket73

“Prepare as if Mekhi Becton is not the answer at left tackle”, the graphic reads.

Becton also responded to Twitter critics on Tuesday morning.

This scrutiny is nothing new for Becton, who has been under fire over his injury since midseason in 2021. What was projected to be a six-to-eight-week injury ended up wiping him out for the rest of the season.

To make the situation even more complicated, the Jets’ right tackle, George Fant, put together an elite season filling in for Becton on the left side. As discussed previously here, Fant made it known in 2021 that he is capable of being a great left tackle in this league.

Fant’s great work, combined with Becton missing lots of time, paved the way for head coach Robert Saleh to announce an open competition for the left tackle spot when speaking to the media at the Senior Bowl.

With everything that’s come out about Becton over the past year, it is clear that he hears the noise.

We saw before the 2021 season that Becton was in incredible shape and ready to dominate after a strong rookie campaign. Becton allowed 23 pressures over 690 offensive snaps in 2020, providing solid pass protection for whoever was under center. The run game was where he especially shined, consistently paving over defenders and making lanes to earn the nickname “Highway 77”.

Fans are restless and the pressure is on for Becton. We’ve seen how dominant he can be. If he can return to impeccable shape like a year ago and dominate in camp, there is no doubt that the former 11th overall pick will not only win the fans back but win the privilege to keep quarterback Zach Wilson safe from the blindside on Sundays.

Oliver Cochrane is on Twitter @OliverJCochrane

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Robert Papalia
2 years ago

I will believe it when I see it.

2 years ago

Mekhi has to come back and take the LT job. But the idea that you have to operate like he’s a bust is fair. Fant played well but is mainly mediocre and was always a hold the fort type signing. And he’s only under contract for this year. So you have to plan for a loss at OT in 2023.

If the Jets can secure an OT in the 1st 10 picks…they need to do it. Can’t rely on Mekhi anymore.

verge tibbs
2 years ago

Yea, ive noticed this for a while now and lets not get it twisted, it can absolutely be an issue. Hopefully he can let it develop a chip on his shoulder. But its obvious hes not ignoring the noise, its obviously having some kind of effect on him. His maturity will have a say in how this turns out, imo. Hes done nothing wrong, its just very unwise to give critics shine publicly, IMO. Makes him seem immature. Maybe its because im old but i just think an athlete shouldnt be active on social media unless they have a pro handle it for them in a curated manner like zachs seems like. Or if one can come off only professionally like some athletes. But lets be real, bectons streaming friggin video games here and responding to trolls. Sighs… doesnt seem like a good look, imo

Michael Nania
2 years ago
Reply to  verge tibbs

I agree, I think someone needs to get in his ear and try to let him know how beneficial it can be for him to block all of that stuff out instead of constantly diving into it.

2 years ago

“… Fant made it known in 2021 that he is capable of being a great left tackle in this league.”

Yeah. You might want to check out how the edge rushers that Fant “dominated” fared as pass rushers the other 16 games of the 2021 season. It’s not exactly a list of the NFL’s who’s who at DE.

2 years ago

Even so, it should not preclude Douglas from drafting Ekwonu if he’s there at 4. While much can be said of Aaron Donald’s SB winning sack, had Joe Burrow been afforded better pass pro, the Bengals might have walked off the field as champions. To that end, I’m all for building a wall for Zach Wilson and his RBs. Particularly given Nania’s adjusted ranking of the Jets’ O-line. And there is no better time than the present to acquire the best “Bricks” for said wall.