Jets rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton felt he should have made the Pro Bowl, and believes he needs to do only one thing to make it in the future.
"Stay healthy," Becton said during a Zoom call on Wednesday.
Becton feels the two games he missed with a shoulder injury – it limited him in two other games as well - prevented him from being named to the Pro Bowl. That may be true, but the Jets’ miserable season certainly hurt Becton as well.
He led all AFC tackles in the fan voting. But that only counts for one-third of the selection. The coaches and players’ vote make up the other two thirds. Becton missed out there.
When the rosters were announced Monday and he didn’t make it, Becton tweeted out three "crying-laughing" emojis. But he said he would "definitely" use that as motivation and he "definitely" would strive to be a perennial Pro Bowl player.
"It’s one of those things I can’t control," Becton said. "I go out there every day to win and do what’s best for my team. The solo accolades are going to come when they come. That’s something I can’t control. Maybe I got to do better."
This could work out very well for the Jets. There’s no denying the impact that Becton has made in a short time.
The No. 11 pick out of Louisville has been arguably the best and most consistent player on this 1-13 team. In Sunday’s victory over the Rams, the 6-foot-7, 370-pound Becton showed why he’s going to be a huge part of the Jets’ rebuilding efforts.
On fourth-and-goal from the 1, Adam Gase called for the Jets to run behind Becton. The man nicknamed "The Big Ticket" held off dominant nose tackle Aaron Donald and created enough of a hole for Frank Gore to crash through for the touchdown that put the Jets up 20-3 in the third quarter.
"It was great because that’s what I strive for," Becton said. "I want to have everything on my shoulders. I want the ball to be behind me in clutch situations like that. So it felt great."
Gase said, "Mekhi was doing what he’s been doing for the majority of the year. He did a good job moving the line of scrimmage."
Not surprisingly, running behind Becton has produced good results.
The Jets have run for 348 yards and three touchdowns when they go outside left behind Becton, according to radar360. That ranks 10th in the NFL. The Jets also tied for sixth with 11 rushes of at least 10 yards when running outside left.
Overall, the Jets are 23rd in rushing yards per game (102.9) and tied for last in rushing touchdowns (eight). Gase probably should have called more runs behind Becton. It’s a safe bet that the next coach will do that much more going forward.
There aren’t many players on the current roster that you could say are keepers, but Becton certainly tops the list. Becton is better in the run game than pass protection at this point. But Gase said he knew right away that Becton would have a big impact this season.
"Once we put pads on and just kind of saw his contact strength when we would run the football, the movement he would get on the line of scrimmage, I was really impressed with that," Gase said. "If he made a mistake, he’d get it fixed real fast. I think that was impressive to me because a lot of rookies they’ll make a lot of the same mistakes over and over again. I felt like he didn’t do that.
Gase said Becton will keep improving. He just needs to get used to all the different looks defenses throw at him and make sure he takes care of his body.
"Really it’s just going to all be about his preparation in the offseason, getting his body right for training camp," Gase said. "He can’t sit around all spring. He’s got to have a regimen and understand how important it is to take care of his body when he’s not around here. That’s going to be big for him."