Why NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger believes Jets’ Mekhi Becton is primed for breakout season


Jets LT Mekhi Becton attempts to block Bills DE Jerry Hughes

Heading into the 2021 NFL season, NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger loves to look at his breakout candidates in the trenches. These are sophomores that proved they could make an impact in the league during their rookie campaigns and are primed to take a leap this year, at least in Baldinger’s eyes.

At the top of the list is someone who certainly made his impact for the Jets after being selected No. 11 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft: left tackle Mekhi Becton.

“Highway 77” is what Baldy dubbed Becton, as his 6-foot-7, 364-pound frame immediately showcased what it could do. Some scouts believed he’d be too slow to deal with some of the elite pass rushers in the league. But Becton’s solid technique in pass protection and dominate prowess in the run game helped cement his place among some of the more promising offensive linemen in the NFL.

“He routinely threw big, powerful defenders right out of the club, especially in the run game,” Baldinger said.

And there was more to show if Becton could’ve stayed healthy. He played in 14 games last season, but was limited in his abilities at times due to injury.

The Jets just drafted their hopeful QB of the future in Zach Wilson with Becton in mind to block his blindside for years to come. If the Louisville product can stay on the field, he has the potential to be one of the elite at the left tackle position just by pure brute force alone.

This year, though, Baldinger is very high on Becton’s abilities to take that leap — one that could be Pro Bowl worthy.

“I believe he is better than his play showed at times last year and talented enough to expect shutouts on Sundays vs. even the league’s best pass rushers,” Baldinger said.



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