The New York Jets might need some outside playmaking help for Sam Darnold, but GM Joe Douglas opted to bolster the trenches for Gang Green’s offense.
Selecting 11th overall in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday night, the Jets took tackle Mekhi Becton out of Louisville to improve one of the league’s worst offensive lines from last season.
With a young developing quarterback in Darnold and an All-Pro running back in Le’Veon Bell, the Jets’ offense was not given much of a chance to consistently succeed behind an offensive line that was ranked 28th in the NFL by noted analytics site Pro Football Reference.
Douglas was faced with the conundrum of addressing the offensive line or drafting one of the top wide receiver prospects available in the draft.
At the time of their selection, each of the top-four pass-catchers in Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, LSU’s Justin Jefferson, and Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III were available.
But protecting the Jets’ most valuable assets turned out to be priority No. 1 for Douglas.
Becton is a tremendous athlete for his size, standing at 6-foot-7, 364 pounds.
Quick feet coupled with gargantuan power made Becton throwing around opposing defenders like ragdolls commonplace at Louisville last season.
His versatility allows him to play either tackle spot with an advanced technique that isn’t seen too often at the college level.
One of his drawbacks is his impatience in the trenches as he’s sometimes too willing to overcommit, which throws off his massive frame.
Regardless, if developed correctly, that issue can be addressed rather quickly, but it still is an enigmatic selection for a Jets team searching for consistency.