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Mekhi Becton is among 5 huge winners on NY Jets’ roster after 2022 draft

Mekhi Becton, NY Jets, NFL Draft, Contract, PFF
Mekhi Becton, New York Jets, Getty Images

Which New York Jets veterans were affected most by the 2022 NFL draft?

Each team’s incoming NFL draft class has a profound impact on the futures of many returning players who were already on the roster.

Let’s discuss a few of the veteran players on the New York Jets‘ roster who were affected in a positive way by the team’s actions in the 2022 NFL draft.

John Franklin-Myers

The first-round selection of Florida State edge rusher Jermaine Johnson should allow John Franklin-Myers to receive more snaps on the interior of the defensive line, where he is much more effective as a pass-rusher.

Franklin-Myers broke out as an interior lineman for the Jets in 2020 before moving to a full-time role on the edge in 2021. He had a solid season but was not nearly as dominant in the passing game as he was on the inside.

  • 2020: 14.4% pressure rate (98th percentile among IDL) vs. NFL IDL average of 7.0% (+7.4% margin)
  • 2021: 12.3% pressure rate (79th percentile among EDGE) vs. NFL EDGE average of 10.1% (+2.2% margin)

On the edge, Franklin-Myers produced pressure at a lower frequency than he did on the inside despite the fact that edge rushers are expected to produce pressure at a much higher frequency than interior rushers.

Franklin-Myers was still very good as an edge rusher – his run defense is also better on the edge than it is on the inside – but he’s elite as an interior rusher. With Johnson aboard to join forces with Carl Lawson, the Jets now have two starting-caliber edge rushers, allowing Franklin-Myers to move back to his best spot.

Mekhi Becton

Pre-draft, it was heavily rumored that the Jets could select an offensive tackle in the first round. Mekhi Becton’s murky status with the team was considered a prime reason New York would consider making such a pick.

New York ended up bypassing the offensive tackle position until the selection of Max Mitchell in the fourth round. This leaves Becton and George Fant as the Jets’ no-doubt-about-it starting tackles heading into the 2022 regular season. Who starts on which side is still up in the air, but we now know that Becton is safe in New York for the time being.

Selecting a premier prospect like Ikem Ekwonu (selected 6th by Carolina) or Evan Neal (selected 7th by N.Y. Giants) would have led to rampant speculation about Becton’s future. Now that Becton is backed up by Mitchell, Conor McDermott, and Chuma Edoga, it’s hard to imagine the Jets would consider trading Becton with such an unreliable group behind him. There is also zero threat to his starting job.

Provided he’s healthy, Becton will start for the Jets in Week 1 of the 2022 season. He will get the chance to prove that he can be a long-term building block for the organization.

Underdog Jets Podcast, Wayne Chrebet Meet & Greet

Michael Carter

You might be surprised to see Michael Carter‘s name on here after the Jets’ second-round selection of running back Breece Hall. Just hear me out.

While the Hall pick certainly takes away the clear-RB1 status that Carter held going into the draft – severely lowering the production ceiling he once had – I think sharing the backfield will benefit Carter’s efficiency, durability, and long-term outlook in the NFL.

Carter dealt with some injury issues in 2021. He missed three late-season games with an ankle injury and left very early in another game with a concussion, which was just two weeks after his return from the ankle injury. This is despite Carter handling a workload that was only moderate (10.5 rushing attempts per game).

With Hall aboard to eat up a sizable chunk of the running back snaps, Carter can take on a lighter workload that will allow him to stay fresher throughout the course of the season and within individual games.

The lighter workload should increase Carter’s efficiency on a per-snap basis. As a change-of-pace back who will typically be well-rested when on the field, Carter can go all-out every time he touches the ball.

In the long run, Carter will benefit from sharing the spotlight with Hall over the next few years. Ideally, once he hits free agency in 2025, teams will be intrigued by the relatively low amount of mileage on his tires and the efficiency he displayed in a smaller role. He’ll be seen as the rare free-agent running back whose best days are ahead of him. Hitting the market with 400 career carries instead of 800 will make him a lot of money.

Carter is a much less intriguing fantasy player today than he was before Hall came in, and he is no longer the Jets’ clear-cut “RB1” of the future. Those things might sting a bit in the present. However, when his career wraps up, I think there is a good chance he will look back on the Hall selection as something that helped him more than it hurt him.

Lamarcus Joyner

The safety position was one of the top needs on the Jets’ shopping list entering the draft. As it turns out, the Jets did not make an addition at the position.

This is great news for Lamarcus Joyner.

Jordan Whitehead is penciled into one of the Jets’ starting safety spots. It’s still not certain who will start beside Whitehead, but the 32-year-old Joyner appears to be the early favorite. His odds of claiming the role increased significantly once the draft came and went without a new safety joining the room.

The young trio of Ashtyn Davis, Elijah Riley, and Jason Pinnock will compete against Joyner for the starting spot.

Quincy Williams

Similar to Joyner, Quincy Williams is a winner thanks to the lack of competition added to his position.

The Jets could have easily added another body to a linebacker room that lacks proven talent, but just like safety, they did not address the position in the draft. This leaves Williams as the early favorite to reprise his role as the starter next to C.J. Mosley.

Second-year linebackers Jamien Sherwood and Hamsah Nasirildeen are also winners. New York’s decision to ignore the linebacker position can be seen as a vote of confidence for the two 2021 draftees, who are both still early in their post-draft transitions from collegiate safeties to NFL linebackers.

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2 years ago

I wonder if the best OT and Guard in the USFL is better than Edoga/McDermott and GVR? I wonder if JD is wondering that.

2 years ago

I agree w/ most of the points made here, but am compelled to point out that Nania’s earlier article stating that “multiple NFL Sources” speculated that Becton would never wear a JETS uniform again was absolute bunk. I really wish the Jets fanbase would support Becton. His success is OUR success, enough w/ the negativity. After this year all bets are off, but for now lets ride that train.
Love what Joe did in Vegas, was hoping we’d grab Dean, but his medical status wasn’t widely known.

2 years ago

Couldn’t agree more about Carter, I think getting Hall just turned him into a more dynamic back. Hall is bigger and a steady mix of the two will be difficult to defend. I love your optimism about Johnson but I’d like to see him take some NFL snaps, even in practice before I say he’s a starting caliber DE. Yes, we think he is but we’ve seen guys drafted much higher than him never record a sack. Yes, I’m still upset Vernon Gholston, if you’re reading. We do agree JFM needs to be on the inside to make him worth the money they laid out for him. I like the additions on the DL. I do expect Rankins to have a bounce back year. Speaking of bounce backs, I thought Corey Davis might be on this list. The addition of actual NFL TE’s can allow the Jets to use more 12 sets which should help the outside WR’s. I belive Davis will have a very good year.

Matt Galemmo
2 years ago

Breece Hall was the 6th person I expected to see here (on a list of 5). I thought Sheldon Rankins would make the cut. Again, because he wasn’t cut before the draft, and without drafting an IDL, that must mean the Jets think he’ll have a rebound in 22, right?

Rick Myles
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Galemmo

Jets picked up Solomon Thomas who will also see time at DT. Quality addition.

2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Galemmo

He HAS to do better against the run. Has to.