By Bryce Shadday | @Bryce_Shadday
Sports Capital Journalism Program
The approach of Mekhi Becton, when combined with his size and strength, is something to be feared. He is one of the offensive linemen in the National Football League Scouting Combine with the ability and potential to become a top-10 pick. Becton measures at 6-foot-7 and 364 pounds. He can shore up an offensive line and set an offense on the right course. His approach is simple. “It’s fun seeing a man on the ground and jumping on him,” he said.
Becton decided to forgo his senior season at Louisville and enter the NFL Draft. He knows he must lose about nine to 14 pounds to meet the expectations of organizations. “No problem,” he said.
Becton, a four-star recruit, was recruited heavily by heavyweight college football programs such as Michigan, Michigan State, Georgia, and Penn State, but he ultimately decided on Louisville.
During this past season, Becton won the Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week award by recording seven knockdown blocks against Syracuse on October 7. At the end of the season, he was awarded the 2019 Jacobs Blocking Trophy for being the most outstanding blocker in the ACC. The award is voted on by ACC head coaches and defensive coordinators.
“I feel like I’m the most dominant tackle in this draft,” said Becton. “You won’t go wrong drafting me.” He makes a strong argument for himself when compared with other talented tackles including Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr., and Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs.
Becton has had plenty to improve upon during his junior season and in training leading up to the Combine. He learned how to finish plays properly from his offensive line coach at Louisville, Dwayne Ledford.
After the college football season, Becton headed to McKinney, Texas to train at Michael Johnson Performance with Duke Manyweather, who has developed NFL lineman. “He helped me with my technique,” said Becton. His technique included his hand placement and footwork which he knows he can keep improving upon.
Becton is light on his feet and can play both sides of the line, a point of pride. “I’m going to shock a lot of people with these tests,” he said.
When it comes time for a team to draft an offensive lineman, Becton wants to be the first one taken. He says it is “real important” that he is the first tackle drafted. As to why it is that important, Becton says it is because he put the work in.
He was asked where he would like to play, but Becton says it does not matter who picks him. His love for blocking showed once again when asked about blocking for New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.
His response: “If you want to score touchdowns, just run behind me.”