Offensive line has been the main priority for Jets GM Joe Douglas all offseason, and Gang Green addressed it in a (literally) big way by taking Louisville's Mekhi Becton with the 11th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
With Iowa's Tristan Wirfs still on the board as well, the Jets went with the 6-foot-7, 364-pounder, with Douglas citing his size and ability to move as two of his top traits.
"We're so excited to have a guy with this size and athletic ability, a guy we really feel can fortify our front for the long term," Douglas said on a conference call. "Obviously the first thing that jumps out on Mekhi when you see him play is the size and the ease of his ability to move, his footwork, and then his heavy hands and how he can move people off the ball.
"We're all excited to have this guy. I think this just emphasizes our mission of providing protection and playmakers to our quarterback."
The Giants took the first tackle of the draft, selecting Georgia's Andrew Thomas with the fourth pick. Then, it was Alabama's Jedrick Wills who went 10th to Cleveland. And while it looked for a moment like their might be an early run on tackles, the Jets stayed pat and were able to land the player Douglas called the top player on their board at the time.
"I think we definitely had a concern that there could be a run on tackles, that they could all go before pick 11," Douglas said. "I think once we got to Jacksonville, really Arizona when they took Isaiah Simmons, I think that's when we knew, 'Hey we've got a real shot of landing one of our top guys here.'
"He certainly was the best player on our board when we took him. We love a lot of the physical traits that he brings, and the toughness traits that he brings to the team and to the offensive line. I can't wait to get him up here and let him compete."
Recently, reports came out that Becton had a drug test "flagged" at the NFL Combine, but Douglas said he was able to speak with Becton on Wednesday, and while he wouldn't go into details of the talk, Douglas did vouch for the character of the newest member of Gang Green, saying they had a great conversation.
Douglas wouldn't commit to whether or not Becton would be a starter on Day One, but he expects a healthy competition along the offensive line heading into the 2020 season.
And Becton could provide a big, big boost up front.
"A man that size isn't supposed to be as nimble as he is," said Douglas.