INDIANAPOLIS — Mekhi Becton was known as "The Big Kid" growing up and is used to being the biggest person in the room no matter where he is.
It’s not from a metaphorical or egotistically standpoint, but at 6-foot-7, 364 pounds, Becton is literally the largest prospect at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine.
Becton was big at a young age. His mother was forced to carry around his birth certificate like it was her driver’s license because of how frequently she was asked his age when playing youth sports. In Highland Springs, Virginia, which is only 15 minutes outside of Richmond, if you mentioned the name "Big Becton," the faces of residents in the surrounding community immediately light up.
The three-year Louisville starter is known for his finishing mentality on the field, but it was basketball that helped him with his footwork, which led to him further developing into a well-rounded blocker. Becton mentioned that he feels like he's "the most dominant offensive tackle in this draft." He quickly followed up that statement emphatically saying that "you wouldn't go wrong picking me." That is the type of confidence Becton has had since he was younger.
Many times with bigger players or prospects, they will do just enough in order to get by because of their massive size, but not Becton. He wants to frequently embarrass the opposition lined up in front of him and wants to do it over and over again.
"The tape shows that I finish almost all my plays. Simple as that." Becton said Wednesday. "I wasn't finishing at first. [Offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford] helped me out with that. The transition was great. They came in with open arms and it was a family aspect from the jump when they got there. I actually talked to him yesterday, so I still look at him as family."
A lot of credit goes to head coach Scott Satterfield and the turnaround he was able to make in only his first season. During the first two seasons of his career, Becton was forced to flip sides based on the strength and direction of play calls. Flip-flopping back and forth from right tackle to left tackle and vice versa is something that he had to grow comfortable with even though the unsettling nature of his footwork, mechanics and process with knowing which hand to strike with first in pass sets became a bit unpredictable.
"I didn't really feel a difference because I'm use to play both left and right tackle, so I'm just on one side now,” Becton said. “It didn't really make a difference for me."
Looking at his listed measurables on paper, it's common to question his weight and the abnormal nature of prospects his size turning out to be success stories. Becton, at 364 pounds would be the first prospect to attend the combine and become drafted since Shawn Andrews in 2004. A phenomenal feat that is bound to happen in the coming months, the former Louisville standout continues to set records on and off of the playing surface.
To pull the curtain back and give a brief scouting report on Becton:
On perimeter running concepts when asked to create a soft edge, he is outstanding at using his arm length and devastating power to run defensive ends to the sideline – creating running lanes on his inside hip. Becton makes defenders pay for wide alignments as a run blocker as a result. Many runs were successful when he was asked to perform in this role. In a new offense (2019), he was often asked to cut block on the backside, but he has the necessary speed in order to seal off the oppositions without having to do the performed tasks.
Lengthy and beefy arms that he utilizes to his full advantage. Not only is he able to show off his arm length, but he has overbearing power behind his reach as well. Becton makes it difficult for edge rushers to get inside of him despite it being such a large target area. He takes tremendous pride in being a run blocker as he loves to lean on defenders to generate considerable amounts of movement. Inconsistent, but he can pack a powerful punch behind his hands, which leads to a shock deliverance to the bodies of the opposition. Built like an oak tree, his presence, and physique alone strikes doubt into many matchups.
With teams such as the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets clearly in need of offensive tackle help, Becton services and continuously growing development have teams salivating over his potential. His play strength, intensity and tone-setting mentality are exactly what teams covet and for those searching for an identity up-front, Becton is the mean presence, who just so happens to be a 364-pound machine paving ways for running lanes and protecting quarterbacks.