Finding the right size


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This could be a wake-up call.

The reason we haven’t seen Mekhi Becton at recent OTA practices is a foot injury according to Robert Saleh. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport announced it’s plantar fasciitis.

Look, we all know that Becton is a freakish athlete for his size. At the 2020 combine. He ran a 5.1 forty at 6-7, 364 pounds. That was flat out amazing for man his size.  He was the heaviest player to run under 5.2 at the NFL Combine since 2006.

Becton said at the combine he expected teams to ask him to lose weight.

“They definitely want me to lose [weight],” Becton said. “I’m willing to lose weight. Whatever they want me to do.”

But it’s still an issue.

While the mainstream media hasn’t seem him at any spring practices, there was one he was clearly at. The Jets showed a photo of him on their website from a workout closed to the media, and he looked huge.

Brock Huard of Fox Sports said he was 380 late last season. That might be too big and could be leading to some injuries. That is a lot of weight for a linemen, even one who is 6-7.

Becton said after the season he’s going to work on losing weight this off-season.

“I’m going to have to get [my weight] down,” Becton said. “I’m working on getting it down.”

There is clearly still some work to be done.

Becton suffered a high ankle sprain late last season, and needed a few months after the season to recover. So during that time, it was probably hard for him to do a lot cardio.

Now he has a foot injury.

Think about that. High ankle sprain and now a foot injury.

Carrying around 380 pounds, while running around as an athlete, has to put a tremendous amount of stress on your feet and ankles.

As athletes get older, they often talk about slimming down to take stress off the bones, ligaments and so forth. While Becton is still a young athlete at 22, it might be time for him to lose some weight, perhaps to get down to 340-350, which would still be huge.

And remember, the Jets are putting in a zone blocking system on their offensive line, which often calls for lighter, quicker linemen.

In January of 2020, SI’s Greg Bishop wrote about Kyle Shanahan and offensive linemen: “Shanahan prefers lighter ones who are more athletic, because he asks them to move laterally more than most coaches. When he arrived in Atlanta in 2015 as the offensive coordinator, he cut every lineman who didn’t fit that prototype, all but two.”

The Jets are running Shanahan’s offense under new coordinator Mike LaFleur.

I asked Saleh last week, before knowing that Becton was hurt, about his weight, vis-a-vis this offensive system.

“We want these guys to be as big and strong as possible without losing their speed,” said Saleh. “You can look at it as going as light as you can, but we want them to push the envelop as far as being heavy, but at the same time there is that threshold, we don’t want them getting so light, where he loses all the power that he has, and at the same time, we don’t want him to be too heavy. But he’s such a tremendous athlete and he’s got such mobility for his size. We will work with him. We will find his weight.”

340 might be perfect.

June 4, 2021

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