Becton, drafted 11th overall in 2020 as the franchise’s potential left tackle, played right tackle in practice and will remain there for the rest of the season, coach Robert Saleh said.
The reshuffle had been rumored since the end of last season, largely because george fant, who replaced the injured Becton in 2021, played so well at left tackle. Now it’s official.
“George feels much more comfortable on the left side,” Saleh said after the first practice. “He has the athleticism to play on the left side, just like Becton. It was just a better combination.”
The Jets played down the significance of the change, but there’s no denying left tackle is a more prestigious and better-paying position than right tackle. Saleh said that “it doesn’t mean Mekhi’s left tackle days are over”, but it does indicate that the team made the move so quickly without competition.
Becton took it in stride, saying he wasn’t focused on prestige or money.
“Whether it’s left or right, I don’t care as long as I’m on the court,” said Becton, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1.
Becton’s status was cloudy in minicamp due to his conditioning. After skipping the voluntary part of the offseason, he showed up overweight in June, which caused concern from the coaches. Becton, who weighed up to 400 pounds last season while in rehab, was supposed to be around 390 at minicamp.
On Wednesday, he was noticeably in good shape. The organization was thrilled with her weight loss.
“I’m not going to dwell on the weight too much,” Saleh said, “but he’s gotten in shape for football. He’s a gifted athlete, a gifted man. I’m really excited about the direction he’s ‘he takes.”
Becton did not reveal his current weight, but said he has achieved his goal. His personal nutritionist, Ann Claiborne, told ESPN he “lost a lot of weight”. He remained in New Jersey for most of the six-week hiatus, working with the team’s coaching and conditioning staff.
Previously, Becton trained at a facility in Dallas, opting to skip the offseason program because his girlfriend was pregnant with the couple’s first child.
If he can stay fit and healthy — he’s only played eight full games in two seasons — the Jets’ offensive line has great potential. Apart from Becton and Fant at the tackle positions, they have Laken Tomlinson and Alijah Vera Tucker (2021 first-round pick) to custody and Connor McGovern In the center.
“It’s a very good offensive line,” Saleh said.
Like Becton, Vera-Tucker learns a new position. He played left guard as a rookie but moved to the right side to accommodate Tomlinson, an established left guard. Saleh said he’s not worried about having two young players – Vera-Tucker and Becton – learning new spots at the same time on the same side.
“Personally, I’m excited about this right side,” he said. “We have two potential All-Pros, in my opinion.”