INDIANAPOLIS — Former Louisville OT Mekhi Becton would rather NFL clubs pay no attention to his sophomore-season catalog from 2018, and he’s using 2020 NFL Scouting Combine interviews to convince them why they should ignore it.
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"I have to prove to (teams) I love to finish. The (2019) tape shows it but I have to tell them I have a passion," Becton said during his combine press conference on Wednesday. "… My 2018 film, it looked like I wasn’t passionate about football, so I have to explain to them why I am passionate about football. It was just bad film."
For a top prospect who could be the first offensive tackle selected in what is considered a promising draft at the position, it was a startling admission. And based on conference honors, a supported one as well. Becton was a first-team All-ACC selection as a junior in 2019, yet a year earlier, he was left entirely off an All-ACC team that honored 11 other tackles, including an honorable mention.
The new Becton, however, is full of confidence.
"I feel like I’m the most dominant tackle in this draft. You wouldn’t go wrong picking me," Becton said. "The tape shows it. The tape shows that I finish almost every single play."
NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah is bullish on Becton, ranking him the fifth-best player in the draft in his most recent top-50 list. Jeremiah has two other offensive linemen — Alabama’s Jedrick Wills and Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs — in his top 13, but he compares Becton to former Minnesota Vikings tackle Bryant McKinnie, who played 12 seasons, made a Pro Bowl and was remarkably durable in starting 140 of 144 regular-season games over a nine-year stretch from 2003-2011.
Becton, despite weighing in at 364 pounds, about 10 pounds heavier than his playing weight, is highly confident in his forthcoming combine testing. Offensive linemen will take the field Friday night.
"I’m about to shock a lot of people in this testing. They don’t expect me to do the things I’m about to do," he said.
Making scouts set aside an entire season — Becton started 13 games in 2018 — might be difficult, but a big performance in agility drills and position drills couldn’t hurt.
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