The New York Giants are picking fourth overall in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. This is their third straight season picking inside the top-ten. It is a crucial draft that general manager Dave Gettleman needs to get right in order to keep his job.
The Giants have many positions of need, but arguably their weakest position is offensive tackle. Luckily for New York, the 2020 NFL Draft class is rich in offensive line talent, especially in the first round. One of the most hyped offensive tackle prospects in this year’s class is Mekhi Becton, a giant hog molly out of Louisville.
This is the second installment of a new article series here on Empire Sports Media. This new series, the NFL Draft Profile series, will feature breakdowns of notable draft prospects to create a profile that summarizes and highlights the prospects’ top strengths and weaknesses. You can check out the first installment, the Isaiah Simmons NFL Draft Profile, here.
Granted, I am not an expert draft analyst. However, in this article, I will be breaking down Mekhi Becton as a prospect after watching hours of his film and using credible draft analysis from various sites such as NFL.com, Pro Football Focus, and The Draft Network intertwined with my own analysis. I will use the expert analysis to cross-check and cross-reference. I will use it to confirm or deny what I have seen on film. This article will also be accompanied by a YouTube video on our channel, Fireside Giants.
Size, Strength, and Athleticism:
The Mekhi Becton “Hype Train” started preparing to take off sometime in early February. But the train never really left the station until the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. At this year’s Combine, Becton was one of the most impressive prospects and saw his draft stock rise in a major way.
Becton’s measurables were insane. The Louisville prospect measured in at 6 feet 7 and 3/8 inches and weighed a tremendous 364 pounds paired with the fourth-longest arms (35 5/8 inches) and the sixth-biggest wingspan (83 1/4). He possesses rare size and strength, paired with incredible athleticism that can be seen demonstrated in his forty-yard dash:
6'7". 364 lbs. 17% body fat. 5.11 40-yard dash.
Louisville’s Mekhi Becton might be the beast of the NFL Combine. pic.twitter.com/eyWHrqZzn8
— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) February 28, 2020
The heaviest man at the Combine ran a 5.11s forty-yard-dash. According to NFL Network, “he also turned in unofficial 10-yard split times of 1.80 and 1.77 seconds, which would be considered average for an offensive lineman of average size, but not one as big as Becton.”
Here is a clip of Becton putting his size and strength to work, purely dominating a defender:
Trying to get caught up on some draft prospects today. Look at what Mekhi Becton does to this defender. My god. pic.twitter.com/Rszsb6f7gP
— Ruairi S (@Ruairi_S) March 25, 2020
Here is another clip, this one of Mekhi Becton pushing an entire truck like its a sled:
Future NFL O-Lineman Mekhi Becton doing a normal workout for normal people….
He’s pushing a TRUCK!!
— Fantasy HQ (@RealFantasyHQ) March 27, 2020
Mekhi Becton’s size, strength, and athleticism give him the ability to make plays like this (or push trucks like this). However, he needs to learn to rely less on his physical traits and more on his technique.
When it comes down to run-blocking versus pass-blocking, Mekhi Becton’s strength is as a run-blocker. His strength makes it possible for him to open up big holes for running backs to sprint through. His power gives him the ability to pancake defenders three feet into the dirt.
Here’s a play I really liked by Becton. Obviously we all know the kid is a mammoth- 6’7”, 360+ lbs. But on this clip we can really see him putting his physical gifts to good use. Lined up at left tackle, watch him pancake the defender to spring an easy touchdown run. #NFLDraft https://t.co/ahScPFMv0u pic.twitter.com/idYFSrXRP0
— Anthony Rivardo (@Anthony_Rivardo) March 27, 2020
One thing that jumps off the tape is Mekhi’s ability to get to the second level. After making one block, Becton’s athleticism and 10-yard-split show up as he quickly accelerates to the second level, identifies his target, and puts his power and weight into the targeted defender. This clip below can serve as a perfect example:
This play might have went for negative yardage, but check out how quickly Becton gets to the second level and just how far back he’s able to throw defenders once he gets there with a full head of steam.#NFLDraft https://t.co/ahScPFMv0u pic.twitter.com/39Q6VCDBlM
— Anthony Rivardo (@Anthony_Rivardo) March 28, 2020
Though Becton’s run-blocking is a strength, he does still have some occasional whiffs and missed assignments. This stems from his lack of a refined technique, which is his biggest weakness.
Lack of Technique:
The biggest flaw in Mekhi Becton’s game is his lack of technique. He has all the physical tools and athletic ability necessary to be a stud offensive tackle. But he will not truly be successful until he improves his technique. This is why Becton has been sometimes labeled as a “boom-or-bust” prospect.
All of the flaws in Mekhi’s game stem from his lack of technique. His difficulties in pass-protection, his tendency to occasionally whiff on blocks in both facets of the game, and the times where he gets bull-rushed backward at 360+ pounds are all problems created by his lack of a refined technique. Mekhi Becton does not consistently step into the defender or keep his arms extended. Many of Becton’s whiffs come from plays where he has his hands down too long and/or waits for the defender to initiate contact.
— Anthony Rivardo (@Anthony_Rivardo) March 28, 2020
Mekhi Becton is strong. He knows it, the defense knows it, everyone knows it. But he cannot rely purely on strength. Often times, Becton will try to just throw defenders to the ground in sort of a punching motion. When he succeeds, it looks awesome. But, when he fails, it usually results in a quarterback pressure or a sack.
Often times, Mekhi Becton is off balance. He shifts too much of his weight to the top of his body and falls forward while trying to shove a defender, rather than getting in front of the defender and blocking him with active and powerful hands. This is also something that Lance Zierlein of NFL.com noted, stating under “Weaknesses” that Becton “Throws himself off-balance when loading up punch.”
It is worth noting, though, that Mekhi is only 20-years-old. Draft prospects are never finished products. We should not expect a 20-year-old to have perfect technique before being coached by an NFL staff. But, if you are looking for an instant-impact offensive tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft, there are more polished prospects to choose form.
If Becton can learn proper technique he can become a “Gold-Jacket player.” He has true gifts in size, strength, and athleticism. But he has not learned how to play offensive tackle yet. Being involved with an NFL coaching staff will obviously fix this to some extent, but to what extent? That is where the question lies with Mekhi Becton.
Mekhi Becton has all the tools and physical attributes he needs to be a quality offensive tackle. He possesses a rare body-build combined with the athletic ability that someone that size should not have. But Becton’s far from a perfect prospect. He has major flaws in his technique that weigh down his overall performance quality.
The potential is there for Becton to be an absolute stud in the NFL. It could be a tumultuous rookie season, but the greatest teacher, failure is (according to Yoda). In other words, Becton’s lack of technique might get in his way early in his career. But if he learns how to polish his technique and gets coached properly by an NFL staff he can be an elite offensive tackle. He is definitely a prospect for the Giants to consider taking in the first round, but I think they should only seriously considering drafting Mekhi Becton if they trade down.
In my opinion, he is definitely not the top offensive tackle in the class and taking him at fourth overall (over players like Isaiah Simmons, Andrew Thomas, etc.) would be a bit of a reach. Then again, we all thought Daniel Jones at six was a reach and he seems to have proven us all wrong so far. The NFL Draft truly is an anomaly.
Once again, if you have any feedback, critiques, or questions, you can reach me on Twitter: @Anthony_Rivardo. Also, be sure to check out the Mekhi Becton Draft Profile video on YouTube (Fireside Giants) where I go more in-depth and do some film breakdowns. Let me know via Twitter or the YouTube comments section which prospect you want me to break down next.