The first time Cameron Clark trained with Mekhi Becton he knew this wasn’t just another big offensive lineman.
The 6-7, 364-pound Becton’s athleticism stood out nearly as much as his size. Clark said Becton had everyone’s attention during agility drills,
“When I first met Mekhi we were running and we were doing certain drills and he was still recovering from an ankle injury,” Clark said. “When he would go the whole gym would kind of just like stop. Mekhi is definitely a freak.”
Before the draft, Becton and Clark worked out together in Texas with Duke Manyweather, the noted trainer of offensive linemen. They built a close friendship. The Jets took Becton with the No. 11 pick. Two days later, they selected Clark in the fourth round. One of the first texts Clark received that day was from his new rookie teammate Becton.
Now the two offensive linemen will be experiencing rookie life together in the NFL. They still text every day, and see each other during the Jets’ virtual offseason program. But they can’t wait until they can finally get on a field with each other.
“It’s just crazy seeing someone and actually knowing someone in the meetings,” Clark said. “I feel like that’s really going to pay dividends once we get up to New York and we can help each other out and all those type of things.”
Becton is expected to start at either left or right tackle. Clark, who went to UNC Charlotte, is considered more of a developmental lineman. But the 6-4, 308-pound Clark will add depth to a totally rebuilt line as a tackle and guard. The Jets told Clark to focus on those two positions.
Clark is back home in Charlotte, making sure he is ready for when players are allowed to report to the Jets' facility. He said he lifts and does conditioning six times a week, and three of those days he does position work. It’s similar to what he did before the draft with Becton, who is still in Texas, working with Manyweather.
According to Clark, he and Becton hit it off right away. Becton is the perfect audience for Clark and his joke-telling. But Becton said they’re both all business on the field.
“We’ve been real close,” Clark said. “It was like four or five of us that were real close. We were always joking and playing around together. We worked hard. We knew when to work, we knew when to play but we always got our work in. Both of us worked extremely hard and both of us care about football a lot. So that was one thing that we just hit it off, off the bat. I like to tell jokes and Mekhi laughs at everything I say. That definitely helped our relationship.
“Mekhi, he’s a fun, happy-go-lucky person. It’s crazy when you look at his film, the way he is on the field, he’s the opposite off the field. He’s a big kid off the field.”
Clark played tackle at UNC Charlotte, and was named the team’s offensive MVP in 2017, which is rare for a lineman. He also played guard during practice. Clark believes going against edge rusher Alex Highsmith, a third-round pick of the Steelers this year, every day in practice prepared him well.
“I feel like I can play whatever position that the coach wants me,” Clark said. “You just have to be able to be versatile.”