The New York Jets currently hold the eleventh pick in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. Many believe that they’ll either draft a Wide receiver or an Offensive tackle. Fortunately for the Jets both positions seem to have extraordinary depth
The Jets have the eleventh pick because of a 6-2 stretch in their last eight games. This burst saw the Jets record improve from 1-7 at week nine to 7-9 by season’s end. Winning six out of their last eight saw Jets slide back in the draft order to pick number eleven. This angered some fans because the Jets won games at the end of the season that would not help them get to the playoffs and have a later draft pick. Other fans including myself saw the 6-2 stretch as a beacon of light. For the last eight games of the year, the Adam Gase offense clicked, with Sam Darnold and Le’veon Bell in the spotlight. The Jets winning those six games may have pushed their draft position back but, it did show Jet fans everywhere that this is a team capable of winning football games.
While the six wins in the last eight weeks of the season were inspiring for the season to come, they didn’t get the Jets a playoff spot. A way to get a playoff spot is to improve the team, both through Free Agency and the Draft. Two-position groups that the Jets need to address to improve the team are the Wide receiver and Offensive tackle positions.
The draft is loaded with Receivers and Tackles. Players like Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and henry Ruggs III headline the Receiver class. While Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills Jr, and Mekhi Becton headline the Tackle class. In my opinion, Mekhi Becton the 6’7”, 370 pounder Out of Louisville is the most intriguing.
Becton played three years at Louisville, capping his career off with a First-team All-ACC nod this year. Becton also won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy given out each year to the best blocker in the ACC. At the NFL Combine Becton ran a 5.10-second 40-yard dash and was measured to have the fourth-longest arms and the sixth-longest wingspan out of all Combine participants. A five-second plus dash time may seem slow but to run that time at Becton’s weight is truly an incredible feat. Becton’s speed at his size and his playing ability is what makes him special. A player like Becton is usually off of the board by the time the eleventh pick rolls around, barring any personal issues or a scandal.
However, last week it was reported that Becton had his drug test flagged at the Combine. The failed drug test could possibly make Becton look less attractive to the teams picking before the jets.
A similar situation has occurred in recent memory. It was almost certain that in the early picks of2016 NFL Draft Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil would hear his name be called. But, moments before the draft commenced, a picture from high school surfaced of Tunsil wearing a gas mask bong. This “scandal” caused Tunsil to slide to the thirteenth pick where the Miami Dolphins swiped him up. Tunsil has since proved that he was worth the early pick hype as he was named the 2016 All-Rookie team and made his first Pro Bowl this year as a member of the Houston Texans. Tunsil has been a highly regarded player since entering the league and has not gotten into any drug trouble.
Louisville Athletic Director Vince Tyra came to Becton’s defense publicly stating that Becton had never failed a drug test during his whole collegiate career and that “it would be a surprise if he has a failed test”. Becton’s flagged test could make teams stay away from him, possibly allowing him to be available when the Jets pick at number eleven.
Becton’s ability and size can answer all the questions as to why he should be an early selection in Thursday’s draft but, his flagged tests at the combine could cause him to slip similarly to the way that Tunsil did a few years prior. Becton’s backing by Vince Tyra should be enough to show the Jets that he’s deserving of the eleventh pick.
I can’t speak for every Jet fan but I know that I’d love to see Mekhi in a Jets jersey for years to come.