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Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Height: 6-7

Weight: 369

Class: Junior

D.O.B.: 4/18/99

Statistical Profile: Becton started 21 games at left tackle and 12 games at right tackle during his time at Louisville, flipping sides in the midst of many of those 33 games during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Finally settled on the left side during his junior year, Becton earned a first-team All-ACC nod after a dominant campaign.

Statistical Profile: Becton started 21 games at left tackle and 12 games at right tackle during his time at Louisville, flipping sides in the midst of many of those 33 games during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Finally settled on the left side during his junior year, Becton earned a First-Team All-ACC nod after a dominant campaign.

Scouting Becton: Everyone raves about Becton’s size and movement skills for being a big guy, and I get that. But we have a few mammoths in almost every draft class at tackle, so that part really isn’t new. What is different about Becton is that his mobility is functional to his position, which makes it more than just raw potential.

While Becton admittedly took far less true pass sets this season than the other top offensive tackles in the class, he looked more than capable of quality, smooth footwork out of his stance. The big man covers a lot of ground in his first step, but never looks labored or out of control in his movements. Becton just looks collected on every rep, from his footwork to his well-timed strikes in pass protection.

Where Becton could run into trouble is against speed-counter rushers who want to work him up the arc only to cross his face back inside. He’ll have to be more prepared for these situations in the NFL, as few college rushers he faced were capable of countering in a way that could challenge him. That won’t be the case in the NFL.

Becton is straight up fun to watch in the run game, despite the fact that Louisville didn’t even run a lot of vertical blocking concepts. In a zone-heavy attack, Becton’s assignments were typically simple: kick out the end man on the line of scrimmage on the frontside of runs, cut the B-gap defender on the backside of runs. Becton was elite at creating torque with sudden, powerful hands to uproot force defenders and extend gaps inside of him for the ball carrier.

In every game I watched, Becton found ways to finish despite moving laterally, staying under control and balanced while devastating defenders with his punch. Yes, he’ll need work on latching and sustaining especially if he plays in more of a gap scheme, but he even flashed in that area when he did get some base blocks in.

What is crazy about Becton is that guys his size normally overextend or get off balance often, getting the job done on size and athleticism, but not necessarily technique. Becton just looks so smooth and measured in all that he does, yet still offers that devastating power. That makes him highly effective in space against even smaller targets, a rare gift for a man that big, whom quicker defenders would usually evade with relative ease.

One area he’ll need to improve is picking up and communicating twists up front. Becton was hit or miss in that area, sometimes missing his assignment and allowing pressure when the protection scheme got more complicated.

Because he hasn’t had a ton of pass protection experience at Louisville in their play-action, run-heavy offense, Becton will face somewhat of a learning curve in the NFL. Football character and intelligence will need to be measured closely by teams during his interview process. Becton, who had a formal interview with the Bucs, should be classified as somewhat of a risk, even if what we’ve seen is pretty impressive at this point.

Bucs Fit: Becton has played both tackle spots during his time at Louisville, so that flexibility should be really attractive to the Bucs. He would plug in at right tackle as a rookie, then could potentially take over for Donovan Smith at left tackle whenever the sixth-year pro moves on.

I’ve talked about the risk involved with Becton; it’s very real and he needs to be carefully vetted by the Bucs front office and coaching staff during the next couple months. Can he learn to vary his pass sets? Is he coachable? Will he continue to keep unnecessary weight off his frame?

Louisville OT Mekhi Becton

Louisville OT Mekhi Becton – Photo by: PewterReport.com

Without knowing the answers to some of those questions, I think Becton looks a lot like the type of player the Bucs would love to have on their squad in 2020 and beyond. He’s massive, plays with an edge, fills a huge need and fits the on-field demeanor of the trench players Licht has tried to add to this roster through the draft and free agency Vita Vea, Alex Cappa, Ali Marpet, Ryan Jensen and Ndamukong Suh – all nasty, physical players who bring it snap-to-snap.

If I’m a betting man, Becton is the offensive tackle from this class most likely to leave Round 1 as a Buccaneer – if he’s still on the board at No. 14. I wouldn’t rule out trading up for him either, especially with so many tackle-needy teams ahead of the Bucs.

Grade: Early Round 2

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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BucRy
1 year ago

I really hope one of these Linemen falls to us instead of having to trade up for a linemen.

DrT1066
1 year ago

I liked his nastiness and the fact that he was relentless.

WhatTheBuc
1 year ago

The bucs need a tackle that can play immediately. I’d rather take a more polished tackle that maybe has a lower ceiling but a higher floor.

geno711
1 year ago

Very young. He has not turned even 21 yet. Younger than Jameis or Rojo at the time of the draft if we draft him. Our last 21 year old lineman we drafted I think was Caleb Benenoch.

I enjoyed your analysis of him Jon.

awwdembucs
1 year ago

The 40 he ran at the combine, was eye opening.

bucballer
1 year ago

His size is a concern for me and because he is so large how will he hold up to the rigors of a 16-17 game schedule? I mean u like ur Tackles to be big, but when they get this big can they really perform at the much needed professional level? And don’t very young players coming out of college gain even more weight as they put on more muscle and man weight. For me, 369 is a little alarming. I prefer one of the other OLineman.

TheBradyBunch
1 year ago

Absolutely the guy I am hoping the Bucs have a chance to draft next month. He is a stud and versatile. If we get him in the first and Swift in the second I will be ecstatic. Also, if the Bucs want to move on from D Smith’s large contract next year he will allow them to do so. I think this guy is the real deal. Wills may be the more polished tackle, but I lean towards Bechton as my 1a choice. I want a mammoth mauler out there keeping defenders from touching the GOAT!

bucballer
1 year ago

Didn’t Detroit have a biggin like this a few years back? I don’t believe he fared well.

Dman
1 year ago

Love Becton’s nasty streak. Would have liked to see more video against elite competition, no offense to Kentucky. I like Thomas from Georgia or Wills from ‘Bama. They’ve played vs. the best talent from ‘Bama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Georgia and in high pressure games. Family friend played OT at Clemson and Baylor [last four yrs] and stated point blank, SEC D lines are a whole different ball game talent wise. Go with the best video against the best competition, could care less about the combine.

AlbJack65
Reply to  Dman
1 year ago

Right, because only players from top tier schools can succeed in the NFL. Jerry Rice, Brett Favre and Walter Payton are holding for you on line #1. SMH.

BucRy
1 year ago

Bucballer, I get your concerns about his size and longevity throughout the season, but he does compare to Bryant McKinnie who had a nice long career and even started 80 games in a row at one point. If Becton chooses to stay in shape, he could have a solid career in the league.

martinii
1 year ago

Wouldn’t trade up for him but if he falls to 14 might make a good RT for starters. Like some above a bit concerned about his size. There can be problems being too big. Like his speed and as much as I would like to see a RB at 14 I’m convinced if one of the Big 4 OT’s is available Licht and BA will pull the trigger. Historically I like Defense in the 1st RD but now that Suh re-signed I am comfortable with our D-line. Definitely RB in 2nd (might trade up if opportunity presents itself.) Finally RD3-5… Read more »

jrwilson85
1 year ago

I gotta say you called this one right. I like Jedrick Wills a bunch. Wills and Becton along with Thomas and Wirf are players of a decade. Becton needs his own zip code. I’d have to take him first if it was me picking. If the big 4 OTs are off the board, I wouldn’t go Kinlaw, because a lot of good IDLs will be available as far down as the 4th round. I’d trade down and pick up an extra pick or two. I’d still go OT with the 1st pick. Guys like Josh Jones, Lucas Niang, Prince Tega… Read more »

jrwilson85
1 year ago

A developmental utility OL is Kyle Murphy out of Rhode Island. He’s raw, but a lot of potential. Late rounder or FA.

Aside from the OTs, the interior O-line group is strong too. When a guy like Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz is ranked 10th among interior O-line, you know the field is stroner than 40 acres of garlic.

I hope the Bucs get 3 OL out of this draft along with RB, Slot rec, safety and IDL.

jrwilson85
1 year ago

That all being said, if Tua Tagvialoa fell to the Bucs, he is the only player I would take over an offensive tackle. The Bucs would be a perfect landing place for Tua. He could learn under the great one and be totally physically rehabbed too. That kid is unbelievable. This is a pipe dream because gis stock is going up not down.

magoobee
1 year ago

The reason I prefer Kinlaw in round 1 is because there are several OT and OL in round 2 that will be there when the Bucs pick at 47.

Projected at
43 Ezra Cleveland OT Boise State (bit of a project but All Pro potential)
50 Lloyd Cushenberry C LSU
55 Prince Tega Wanogho OT Auburn (love this guy, limited time playing football)
56 Isaiah Wilson OT Georgia (immediate starter)
58 Tyler Biadasz C Wisconsin
60 Netane Muti G Fresno State

SenileSenior
1 year ago

It won’t bother me too much if the Bucs see fit to trade up to get Becton. That would signal to me that he was very highly rated on their board.

Yes, I want to win now but, I also want us to look beyond two years also so that we can sustain “relevance”.
_________________________
Go Bucs!!! In BA I Trust!

TheBradyBunch
1 year ago

If I had to guess as far as offensive tackles they probably have them graded as Wills 1 and Becton 2. I doubt the Bucs will be able to wait for him to fall all the way to 14. If he makes it to the 9 spot the Bucs may want to pick up the phone before the Browns pick. I think this all boils down to how they grad Jones. If they miss out on the big four, is Jones worth trading back a little and taking him. I have seen scouts say that Jones is much better than… Read more »

jrwilson85
1 year ago

yeah but you could get guys like Ross Blacklock TCU, Justin Madubuike Tex A&M, Raekwon Davis Bama and Nevelle Gallimore in the 2nd and those guys aren’t exactly chopped liver. Vea is a stud and he could use some help for sure. Davon Hamilton Ohio St, Jordan Elliott Missou and Leki Fotu Utah in the 3-4 round area. How about Vea and Fotu? The Samoan connection. It’s like having 2 anvils in the middle. The offense can put themselves in a position of strength with this draft, but they have to stay away from the flashy sparklers and draft meat… Read more »

jrwilson85
1 year ago

I love Jedrick Wills, he is a beast. All of the top 4 guys are. If you look at arm length of the top 4 it goes Andrew Thomas Ga 36 1/8 “, Mekhi Becton Louiville 35 5/8″, Jedrick Wills Bama 34 1/4″, Tristran Wirfs Iowa 34″. The longest arm length of the OTs is Mattew Peart UCONN 36 5/8”. Terrance Steele Texas Tech 36 1/8 is another long reach guy. All these guys are stronger than you average bear, but not neatly as strong as they are going to get when the Bucs O-line and strength staffs get a… Read more »

Dave
1 year ago

Yeah I mean if I had a choice honestly, I’d take either Wirfs or Thomas. But if none of the big 4 are there at 14, I would absolutely try and trade down. It’s just a matter of how far down. If they can trade back, and maybe get a higher 2nd round pick out of it, I’d try and get J.Jones with the trade back, and then with the higher 2nd, I’d take Delpit 1st, McKinney 2nd, and Taylor 3rd. If Delpit, McKinney, and Taylor are all gone with that early 2nd, and C.Ruiz is still on the board,… Read more »

AlbJack65
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

Delpit has a history of being a poor tackler. That’s a hard thing to fix at the pro level when it’s been a long term issue. Some DB’s want flash and splash plays for glory but don’t like to do the dirty work and hit people. Deion Sanders comes to mind.

scubog
1 year ago

Looks to me like as long as the Bucs select a tackle, another tackle and then a running back with our first three choices, some fans will have JPP set off a few fireworks to celebrate. Apparently talent level of the available players when the Bucs are on the clock is meaningless.

Bradenton BucFan
1 year ago

First 3 rounds should be best player on their board regardless. Like the Ravens do. That’s why we usually suck & the Ravens usually don’t. We don’t rank our board like they do either.

Dave
1 year ago

@AlbJack65. He does. But Derwin James had similar question marks coming out of the draft. There’s no perfect safety in this draft. I’m not as sold on McKinney because I feel like he does so many things well, but I don’t feel he’s elite in any of them. Plus as with a lot of other past Bama DB’s, i wonder if he’s the product of an elite defense. And I think he’s best served as a slot corner not a S. Don’t put too much stock into last season for Delpit. He played with a high ankle sprain for most… Read more »

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