Mekhi Becton, NY Jets, RT
Mekhi Becton, New York Jets, Getty Images

Mekhi Becton looked more than comfortable in his debut at right tackle for the New York Jets

Heading into Saturday’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New York Jets had Mekhi Becton take reps at right tackle in 11-on-11 drills for the first time this offseason. Becton had been occasionally lining up at right tackle in walkthroughs, but these were his first live reps at right tackle all year.

Looking to further test Becton’s abilities at right tackle, Robert Saleh and the Jets decided to play him there against Tampa Bay.

Becton came in at right tackle with the second-team offensive line (Billy Turner started at RT). The 24-year-old went on to play 25 offensive snaps. Although that is two fewer snaps than the 27 he played against Carolina last week, Becton’s snap ratio went up to 47.2%, a new preseason high after he logged a 39.5% rate against Carolina and a 14.9% rate against Cleveland.

And boy, did he deliver.

Becton did not miss a beat after switching sides. Throughout his appearance against Tampa Bay, Becton was consistently dominant in both phases. He held steady in one-on-one pass-rush reps and created huge amounts of movement in the run game.

These were Becton’s first reps at a position other than left tackle in an NFL game, although it is not the first time he has ever played right tackle. However, it’s the first time he has lined up at right tackle since his sophomore year at Louisville in 2018.

Over his first two seasons with the Cardinals (2017-18), Becton would consistently swap between left and right tackle in the middle of each game. He played 730 snaps at left tackle and 778 snaps at right tackle between his freshman and sophomore seasons.

As a junior, Louisville had Becton stay at left tackle full-time.

Becton continues to trend in a positive direction for the Jets. He has increased his snap ratio in back-to-back games with no injury setbacks (as far as we know), and now, he has shown he is capable of lining up at right tackle.

That’s not necessarily a definitive statement – Becton needs more than 25 snaps against backups to indisputably prove he can play right tackle at a high level – but this performance against the Bucs serves as strong evidence that Becton can, at the very least, provide competence on the right side. Max Mitchell and Billy Turner haven’t done that.

If Becton earns the coaching staff’s trust as a right tackle, New York’s messy offensive line situation would become a whole lot easier. The Jets could simply place Becton on the right side (providing a huge upgrade over Turner or Mitchell) and give the left tackle spot to Duane Brown once he returns. This would allow Alijah Vera-Tucker to stay at right guard, his best position.

This has been a mostly positive preseason for Becton. He is headed down the right path. But have the Jets’ coaches seen enough to pencil him in as a starter? That remains to be seen.

One more performance like this one, though, and it will be hard for the coaching staff to deny that Becton deserves to start against Buffalo, regardless of his durability questions.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at] - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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Nevada Buck
Nevada Buck
1 month ago

Can you imagine running on the right side behind Becton, AVT, and Tippmann?? Wheee!

Last edited 1 month ago by Nevada Buck
Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
1 month ago
Reply to  Nevada Buck

I’ve been saying that since the draft. We’re also adding great blockers in Ruckert and Lazard as well. We’re going to see lots of huge runs.

1 month ago

He looked good, and Cimini had a good quote from Becton’s agent about his playing time this pre season, that answers A LOT of questions about how the Jets have been using Becton. Apparently, this was a prescribed plan by Becton’s doctor, including no reps at RT until the got some work in on the left side and got some strength in the knee. It was interesting.

Looks like we are going to get the starting OL that many predicted, with Brown, Laken, McGovern, AVT, Becton. There have also been reports Rogers will play vs. the Giants, which would mean any healthy starter will also play. They wouldn’t put Rogers out there with backups. I like it because what I saw last night was an abomination…grain of salt of course.

As noted, pre game Michael… Z’s miss was a pump the breaks moment on his pre season love fest. He just can’t be missing those kicks, and honestly I don’t trust him. I’d keep Robbie Gould’s phone number close. He doesn’t have the same range as Z but look as his post season production. I trust him in big moments. I’m not suggesting, hit the panic button over 1 pre season kick but missed kicks can snowball fast. I’m saying be ready. I hope it doesn’t happen.

1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Nania

I was thinking it MAY be possible he shares reps to begin the season. He came in QTR 2 last night, maybe he splits time with Turner for 6-8 games, or until the doc things he’s full go?