By Charlie Campbell
Summary: In NFL drafts, there are typically a few rare prospects who are “once in a decade”-type players with a unique skill set that is hardly ever seen. In the 2020 NFL Draft, Mekhi Becton and Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons are the two rare prospects that have freakish skill sets that are rarely ever seen.
Becton was a four-star recruit coming out of high school in Virginia. He broke into the starting lineup as a freshman and stayed as a starter for his three seasons at Louisville. Becton improved annually, and by the early portion of his junior year, NFL scouts were projecting him to be a high first-round pick. He is a rare prospect with a 7-foot wing span, and at the NFL combine, the monstrous left tackle shocked the league with an ultra-fast 40-yard dash of 5.10 seconds. In speaking with team sources, including some general managers, they mentioned Becton as a player who could cause a team to trade up for him in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft because he is such a rare player with a very unique skill set.
In pass protection, defenders have a very difficult time getting pressures versus Becton. His sheer size makes him very difficult for edge rushers to get around, as he eats up so much space and with his length they have to take extra steps to get around him. That leads to his quarterback having more time to get the ball out. On top of his overwhelming size and length, Becton is freakishly quick and athletic on the edge. He has excellent lateral quickness and agility for such a massive blocker. With his ability to play the typewriter with his feet and get depth in his drop, Becton is very adept at neutralizing speed rushers. Becton’s size and weight also shuts down bull rushes, as defenders struggle to get backward movement against him.
Becton is effective as well in the ground game. He has a strong upper body and consistently utilizes that and his length to push defensive linemen out of their gaps. Becton has phenomenal lateral quickness, which is shocking for a player of his size, so he is very effective at getting away from the line to set up rush lanes in the perimeter. He can make blocks in space, as he is fast in the short area with quickness to fire off the ball. Becton also keeps fighting and is adept at negating second efforts.
There are some areas of improvement for Becton as a pro. He still has some raw elements to his game that could use coaching assistance. His hand placement needs to improve, as he can get too wide on defenders. At the point of attack, he could stand to improve his leverage, and that would make him a more effective drive blocker. Weight is also another important factor to monitor throughout his pro career. If he gets too heavy, that could lead to him having struggles on the field.
Becton has the ability to be a franchise left tackle in the NFL and one of the best tackles in the league. He has a ton of upside to develop and looks like a lock to be a top-12 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Trent Brown. Multiple team sources have said Becton is a quicker, more athletic version of Brown. Considering Brown is one of the top tackles in the NFL, that is high praise for Becton. Becton could be a better version of Brown as a pro.
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