Jets' Mekhi Becton on People Labeling Him a Bust: 'I'll Make Them Eat Their Words'

Adam WellsJune 15, 2022

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - JULY 28: Mekhi Becton #77 of the New York Jets during morning practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on July 28, 2021 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Just two seasons into his NFL career, New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton appears to be tired of hearing people already label him as a bust.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday wearing a T-shirt apparently aimed at the skeptics, Becton said he will make anyone writing him off "eat their words."

Ari Meirov @MySportsUpdate

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jets?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jets</a> OT Mekhi Becton showed up to his press conference wearing a shirt that says "BIG BUST" &amp; surrounded with words like "Fat, lazy, injury prone, out of shape."<br><br>Becton doesn't understand why people are writing him off. "I'll make them eat their words."<a href="https://t.co/ryWVdKAvnc">pic.twitter.com/ryWVdKAvnc</a>

Becton's 2021 season came to an end in Week 1 when he suffered a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery.

Per ESPN's Rich Cimini, Becton's weight rose "to at least 400 pounds" last season while he was rehabbing his knee issue. The 6'7" Becton weighed 363 pounds at the scouting combine in 2020.

Ann Claiborne, Becton's nutritionist, told Cimini they were able to get his weight down into the 300s.

"It does make it more of a challenge when he's not able to train like he normally would, but he's definitely in the 300s and we're going to continue to work to keep his weight down and allow him to heal," Claiborne said.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters in February that Becton and George Fant, who started 15 games last season, will compete for the starting left tackle job in 2022.

"As I've told George Fant, he has a chance to maintain that position," Saleh said. "It's the same thing for Mekhi Becton. He has to come in and reassert himself into the starting lineup."

Saleh didn't address questions about Becton's weight on Wednesday, but did say he expects the 23-year-old to be ready for training camp.

The Jets selected Becton with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. He appeared in 14 games as a rookie and ranked 13th among all left tackles in pass protection, per Pro Football Focus' Anthony Treash.

Becton has a massive ceiling at one of the most important positions on the field. The Louisville alum has plenty of questions to answer as he looks to reclaim his spot in the starting lineup, but it sounds like the Jets will give him every chance to do that when camp opens in July.