The Jets hope Mekhi Becton will spend the next several years protecting quarterback Sam Darnold’s blind side, and the team took the next step with that plan by signing their 2020 first-round pick to a contract. The Jets tweeted the news Monday night.
Becton, the 11th overall selection, is the eighth of their nine picks signed to a contract. Safety Ashtyn Davis, a third-round pick, remains unsigned. Becton signed a four-year, $18.45 million deal that is fully guaranteed, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The Jets also signed third-round defensive end Jabari Zuniga, fourth-round quarterback James Morgan and sixth-round punter Braden Mann.
Becton is second-year general manager Joe Douglas’ initial first-round pick with the Jets after his hiring in May 2019. Douglas has made rebuilding the team’s offensive line one of his biggest priorities this offseason.
Becton played 35 games at Louisville, starting at left tackle in his final 21 games for the Cardinals. The 6-7, 364-pound Becton started 33 games at Louisville.
Becton, 21, was an All-ACC first-team player and won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy award as the conference’s top offensive lineman.
Becton stood out at the NFL’s Scouting Combine, running a 5.1 in the 40-yard dash. He’s the Jets’ first first-round offensive lineman since 2006, when they drafted D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
"The thing that stands out when you first watch Mekhi on tape is that it's like a giant among boys out there on the field," Douglas said. "I mean his sheer size just jumps out. Then you see him move, how easy he can slide, how he can mirror defenders, and then his heavy hands and ability to lift people off of their feet, just move people with ease. There's a lot of unusual traits to this young man's game.”