In training camp, veterans teach youngsters all the time, but you don’t always see offensive players teaching their defensive counterparts and vice versa.
“I get a chance to work with Cam Clark, Mekhi Becton, Morgan Moses is over there helping guys and that’s all getting us better,” Franklin-Myers told team reporter Eric Allen during a post-practice interview on July 30, 2021.
He continued: “I talked to Morgan Moses yesterday and he’s like, man, don’t show your move, and that’s a vet, that’s a guy who’s played a lot of football and has done some good things in the NFL and he’s telling me, he’s coaching me during team when I have to go against him every play.”
‘JFM’ called it an “honor” to be around a veteran like Moses and learn from both his defensive linemates and the offensive line. On his side of the ball, Franklin-Myers highlighted experienced players like Sheldon Rankins, Carl Lawson, Vinny Curry, Foley Fatukasi, Nathan Shepherd and Tanzel Smart as fellow teachers of the game.
“I’m learning from some quality players and it gives me a good opportunity to get better each and every day,” JFM explained to Allen.
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Building Team Comradery at Florham Park
The 2020 Jets seemed to lack that team chemistry and comradery that gets you over the top in the NFL. Franklin-Myers is the perfect culture-changer in this regard and apparently, so is the late addition at right tackle, Moses.
Second-year tackle Becton has also mentioned Moses as a recent mentor of his. “It’s great because he’s from my hometown so we got a little connection there,” said the player that is known as ‘The Big Ticket.’
Becton told reporters that he calls the former Washington tackle “O.G.” and with at least 680 to 690 pounds between the two monstrous tackles, there’s nothing “little” about this connection.
“We have no choice but to get better each and every day,” commented JFM, “that’s why we’re out here… the name of the game is improvement.”
Another interesting opposing camp matchup has been Becton versus Lawson, and so far the edge rusher has dominated the top prospect. No pads make things tougher on offensive linemen but either way, class has been in session with Mr. Lawson playing the role of the professor.
If retired Jets offensive guard Damien Woody is correct, this should all pay positive dividends for Becton, whose craft is still a work in progress despite his God-given intangibles.
“Now we’re out here, we’re firing on all cylinders,” JFM told Allen, “we’re giving great effort, getting to the ball… the ball is like oxygen to us.”
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JFM Named ‘Most Underrated Defensive Tackle’ by Analyst
For a player that went overlooked most of last season, Franklin-Myers is certainly gaining clout. Earlier this offseason, NFL Network analytics expert Cynthia Frelund revealed that the versatile D-lineman was her pick for the Jets’ most underappreciated player in 2020.
The previous under-the-radar producer to hold this honor was Grady Jarrett of the Atlanta Falcons, according to Trapasso. He wrote: “Last season, Franklin-Myers was dominant. And that’s not a stretch. Check how efficient he was getting after the opposing quarterback compared to a handful of established stars on the inside.”
The CBS analyst’s chart ranked JFM second in pressure-creation rate for the entire NFL at 14.4%, behind his former teammate Aaron Donald. For comparison, Jets star D-tackle Quinnen Williams had a 10.3% pressure-creation rate off a similar amount of pass-rushing opportunities.
Paired with head coach Robert Saleh, Franklin-Myers has the opportunity to make another huge jump in 2021.