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Just two seasons into his NFL career, New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton seems tired of hearing people call him a bust.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday wearing a t-shirt apparently aimed at doubters, Becton said he would make anyone write him off to “eat his words.”
Ari Meyrov @MySportsUpdate
#Jets OT Mekhi Becton showed up to his press conference wearing a shirt that says “BIG BUST” & surrounded by words like “Fat, lazy, injury prone, out of shape.”
Becton doesn’t understand why people write him off. “I’m going to make them eat their words.”pic.twitter.com/ryWVdKAvnc
Becton’s 2021 season ended in Week 1 when he suffered a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery.
According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Becton’s weight jumped “to at least 400 pounds” last season as he rehabilitated his knee problem. The 6’7″ Becton weighed 363 pounds at the reconnaissance combine in 2020.
Ann Claiborne, Becton’s nutritionist, told Cimini they managed to get her weight down into the 300s.
“It makes it harder that he can’t train like he normally would, but he’s definitely in the 300s and we’ll keep working 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 position in 2022.
“As I told George Fant, he has a chance to keep this position,” Saleh said. “It’s the same for Mekhi Becton. He has to come in and reaffirm himself in the starting line-up.”
Saleh did not answer the questions on Becton’s weight on Wednesday, but said he expected 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, according to Anthony. Treash by Pro Football Focus.
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 looks like the Jets will give him every chance to do so when camp opens in July.