We are in the thick of New York Jets training camp and things are beginning to heat up.
Not just temperature-wise, but also the heat of battle on the gridiron. So many training camp competitions and players fighting for those precious final roster spots.
One of the most hotly contested battles that have risen to the spotlight features two of the best players on the Gang Green roster.
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Mekhi Becton vs Carl Lawson Has Been on Full Display
The very first selection of the Joe Douglas era as general manager of the Jets was offensive tackle, Mekhi Becton, out of Louisville with the No. 11 overall pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.
Obviously offensive line play was paramount to Douglas’ vision for building a football team.
The following offseason when he got the opportunity to invest in the trenches once again, he took full advantage by handing $45M to free-agent pass rusher Carl Lawson formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals.
The two prizefighters have been squaring off in a serious case of trench warfare.
Does Iron Truly Sharpen Iron?
Through a week plus of training camp practices, Lawson has handed Becton his lunch pail on seemingly a daily basis.
He’s been one of the brightest stars of camp with his explosiveness, array of pass-rushing moves, and veteran savvy.
Although how should Jets fans feel about these reps?
On one side of the coin, it has been a long time since the green and white have had a pass rusher that opponents had to fear. While the recipient of this beatdown is the Jets’ franchise cornerstone left tackle that is tasked with protecting Zach Wilson.
“These guys are polar opposites of the spectrum,” coach Saleh told reporters earlier this week. “Becton won’t run into players that small and sawed-off and Lawson won’t run into players that massive. They’re making each other strain in different ways and I think they’ll get better for it.”
Of course, this is good for Becton.
This guy is overflowing with talent and has Hall of Fame traits. The thing he’s missing is reps and training camp is a safe environment to make mistakes and learn from them.
Lawson may not have the gaudy stats of some of his peers, but he has all the raw skills that can give any offensive tackle issues, especially a second-year player who is still so green.
These two pillars are the keys to the success of the Jets in 2021. The front office is banking on the former Louisville star being a key cog on the offensive line and of course staying on the field.
While on the other side of the line, Gang Green paid a premium price for some much-needed EDGE rush help. They didn’t pay Lawson for his lack of production in the past, but his projected future production in this scheme that’ll highlight his strengths.
These battles are great for both parties as they continue to hone their craft ahead of the regular season which is rapidly approaching.
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