There’s big. And then there’s Mekhi Becton big.
Tipping the scales at 6-foot-7, 364 pounds, the Louisville left tackle possesses rare physical traits and a nasty demeanor that should have offensive line coaches oozing over him come draft day.
Expected to go in the top 10 picks, Becton’s NFL draft journey is off to a flying start. And when he finally hears his name called, it will be the crowning achievement for a player who has made tremendous strides the last two years.
Becton took his body and Louisville program to new heights in final season
Following back-to-back state titles in high school, Becton wasted no time making an immediate impact at Louisville.
As a true freshman, he started 10 games at right tackle for an 8-5 team. Though he started 12 games as a sophomore, Becton and the Cardinals squad finished just 2-10.
With Bobby Petrino out and new head coach Scott Satterfield in, Becton made sure to make his junior season count.
Working tirelessly to trim his hefty frame, the monstrous left tackle dropped a few pounds and emerged as a first-team All-ACC player. With Becton locking down the left side, first-year starting quarterback Malik Cunningham threw for 22 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Running back Javian Hawkins, another first-year starter, relied on Becton’s dominance at the point of attack to the tune of 1,525 rushing yards.
Thanks to Becton’s stellar play, the offense carried the team to an 8-5 record, including a 38-28 victory against Mississippi State in the Music City Bowl. Not bad for Satterfield’s first year in Louisville.
Becton cemented his status as OT1 at the combine
The term “freak” gets thrown around a lot in scouting circles. Some players have freakish speed. Some have size. Some have quickness.
Becton has them all.
After turning heads at his weigh-in, Becton made jaws drop after running a 5.11 40-yard dash. Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs III clocked a combine-best 4.27 seconds…at 188 pounds.
However, Becton’s blazing run is even more impressive considering he weighs nearly 200 pounds more than the high-flying wideout.
While his pass-blocking still needs refinement, there’s no doubt he could have a Trent Brown-like impact on a team as a road-grading, yet nimble left tackle. Becton’s sensational combine performance and unlimited upside make him the top offensive tackle available in the 2020 NFL draft.
Coaches believe it’s just the beginning for Becton
Potential is a scary word. It implies the possibility of failure as much as success.
When it comes to offensive linemen, translating physical ability to the NFL game can be challenging. For every hit like Ronnie Stanley and Ryan Ramczyk, there’s a bust like Luke Joeckel and Greg Robinson.
Betting against Becton is a dangerous game. In fact, his coaches believe he is not even close to reaching his ceiling just yet.
“I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms, and I don’t recall any that looks the way he does and with the tools he has…He’s special, he really is.”Louisville offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford
Ledford’s praise for his prized left tackle didn’t stop there. He stated that Becton is just coming into his own and benefits from having a relatively injury-free career.
If he can continue making strides like he did in his final year at Louisville, Becton will become a dominant left tackle. Expect to hear his name called in the top 10 at the 2020 NFL draft.
I hope Roger Goodell is ready for that bear hug.