Jets GM Joe Douglas Says Mekhi Becton an 'Old School Left Tackle'

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By WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM New York

When the Jets drafted offensive tackle Mekhi Becton with the 11th pick in the NFL Draft last week, it was met with some mixed reaction from fans and pundits.

But inside the Jets war room it was a no-brainer. While Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs was still available, Jets general manager Joe Douglas said in a conference call after the pick that Becton was atop the team’s board – and for good reason.

On Wednesday, Douglas joined WFAN’s “Boomer and Gio” to further explain the rationale behind the Becton pick.

“For us, this was a unique opportunity to get an offensive tackle that everybody was excited about,” Douglas said. “[Becton] has a lot of unusual and unique traits — his length, his strength and mentality. He's a guy who can affect the pass game and run game. If we ever want to see Sam [Darnold]’s full potential we have to protect him. He cant be taking shots from every angle, he’s got to be up on his feet. We have to take care of that first and everything else will fall into place. That was our mission from the outset."

Becton’s size – 6-foot-7, 364 pounds – is why many believe he has tremendous upside. Douglas recalled a conversation he had with a friend who “has been in the business a long time,” and the names of great, big offensive linemen began to come up.

“When the conversation came up with Mekhi, this guy just reminds you of an old school left tackle, just the giant big men,” Douglas said. “I’m not gonna [compare] him to Hall of Fame players, but as far as measurables are concerned – just big men like Orlando Pace and Jonathan Ogden and Willie Roaf. We were having that conversation; those were some of the names that came up. I’m not comparing him to those guys, but he presents unique combo of size, length and athleticism.”

Becton will be a big piece -- both literally and figuratively -- of the puzzle for the Jets going forward as they try to tap