Jets Coach Reveals Encouraging Development on Mekhi Becton

Mekhi Becton

Getty New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton at NYJ OTAs in 2023.

The New York Jets concluded Organized Team Activities (OTAs) on June 9, but not every player’s progress is always seen on the practice field.

Former 2020 first rounder Mekhi Becton will be competing for his NFL future in 2023 after the Jets declined his fifth-year option this spring, and he does not appear to be taking that reality lightly so far. Not only has Becton finally dropped a massive amount of weight this offseason, but he’s also been going the extra mile mentally according to his new offensive line coach.

“Jets OL coach Keith Carter said Mekhi Becton has been joining him for extra meetings, film sessions 1-on-1 during the offseason program,” SNY’s Connor Hughes relayed on June 9. “Some serious rededication from Becton this year. Not just physically (weight loss), but in [the] classroom.”

Becton and veteran Duane Brown are expected to compete for the starting left tackle job during training camp, although it’s unclear when the latter will be able to return from shoulder surgery. That could open the door for the former top prospect to win the job.

On June 9, head coach Robert Saleh made it clear that Becton should be ready for the start of training camp.

Jets’ Mekhi Becton Videotaped in Right Tackle Stance at OTAs

“Breece Hall, Mekhi Becton, Randall Cobb, Mecole Hardman, Micheal Clemons and Zonovan Knight were among the players working off to the side with trainers,” The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt informed on June 9, adding: “Becton was doing a little more than he had most of OTAs, working in a right tackle stance with a trainer.”

That last part is interesting, considering Becton has expressed a strong desire to return to the left side in 2023 — criticizing the Jets coaching staff for the position change last year. Rosenblatt shared video of this practice session on Twitter earlier in the afternoon.

“Mekhi Becton getting some work in off to the side during practice,” Rosenblatt outlined in the tweet. “Doing more than we’ve seen him do through OTAs so far.”

That’s another positive development for Becton, who had two or three of those on Friday alone. If he continues to show a newfound sense of dedication in the film room and on the practice field, perhaps the 24-year-old blocker can finally make good on a bounce back campaign in 2023.

Jets HC Robert Saleh Talks ‘Hard Knocks’, Joint Practices

The Jets are one of four candidates for HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in 2023. The other three are the Washington Commanders, Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints.

Objectively speaking, the Jets and Bears make the most sense based on those choices. Gang Green just added Aaron Rodgers to a roster that features the 2022 Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, while third-year QB Justin Fields profiles as a strong draw in Chicago.

There’s far less going on in New Orleans — Derek Carr has already starred on Hard Knocks — and Washington (aside from the potential of ownership change).

Having said that, Jets head coach Robert Saleh has been firm on his stance that he has zero interest in hosting the Hard Knocks crew at Florham Park this August. “I know there’s several teams that would love for ‘Hard Knocks’ to be in their building, but we’re just not one of them,” Saleh replied bluntly on June 9.

It remains to be seen if the NFL and HBO will choose to force the Jets to do so, which they can according to league rules.

During the same press conference, Saleh also revealed that Gang Green won’t be conducting joint practices with the New York Giants in 2023 because of their regular season matchup, but they are planning to do joint practices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers.

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