New England Patriots 2020 NFL Draft: Mehki Becton a solution at tackle

LOUISVILLE, KY - OCTOBER 05: Mekhi Becton #73 of the Louisville Cardinals in action during the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Cardinal Stadium on October 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. Georgia Tech won 66-31. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - OCTOBER 05: Mekhi Becton #73 of the Louisville Cardinals in action during the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Cardinal Stadium on October 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. Georgia Tech won 66-31. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Big questions loom for the New England Patriots in the draft, Mehki Beckton is one big solution.

The New England Patriots will have a good idea of how their future at quarterback will unfold likely within the next two weeks.

Tom Brady’s decision on his future will necessitate decisions by the Patriots on their future – at quarterback and elsewhere.

One position that could use strengthening is offensive tackle. This draft suggestion for the Patriots is primarily based on Scenario 1 of the Tom Brady situation: Tom stays.

More from Chowder and Champions

In this scenario, Brady returns and hopefully (in my view) is locked in to finish his career in a New England Patriots jersey. This may take a multi-year deal with significant guaranteed money – and I’m all in for that situation to eventuate.

A $100M 3-year deal, with maybe $65M guaranteed should be a contract that Tom can and hopefully would embrace. I say go for it Patriots!

If he does stay on, it is incumbent upon the New England Patriots to shore up their offensive line. Brady’s most effective game is predicated on a quick release of the ball. That is only achievable with a clean pocket – and receivers and tight ends who can get open (more on those topics to follow).

In a  previous post, I postulated that selection of a center/guard from Michigan, Cesar Ruiz could fill in a lot of blanks for the New England Patriots, in light of their impending free agency potential losses and other personnel situations on the line.

But another key alternative, and maybe the best if Brady stays, would be to add a top offensive tackle to the mix.

In ranking the top tackles in the 2020 draft, Kevin Hanson of Sports Illustrated listed Mehki Becton of Louisville as his third rated tackle and describes him this way:

"3. Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville (JR, 6’7″, 369 pounds)Starting at left tackle in a new offense in 2019, Becton had switched sides (LT to RT) within the game during the previous two seasons. Becton has rare size and length and given his size, Becton has the strength you’d expect and is a mauler in the run game, but he has more work to do for his pass protection to catch up to his prowess as a run blocker. That said, he has rare movement skills for a man his size with tremendous upside."

Becton a big tackle and a great fit for the Patriots

There’s a lot to like about Mehki Becton  – and there’s a lot of Mehki to like. He’s big and he’s versatile. His size is reminiscent of a recent New England Patriot offensive left tackle who help the Patriots bulldoze through the 2018 season and NFL playoffs to their most recent Super Bowl title.

That would be Trent Brown, currently employed by the Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) Raiders.

Brown left new England after that Super Bowl to sign a mega contract with the Raiders. I think it was a huge mistake by New England to let him leave. Not only was he effective as a left tackle but his size alone would make him a formidable obstacle to evade.

The late, great Joel Buchsbaum, a draft writer par excellence who wrote Pro Football Weekly’s draft guide, who passed away in 2002 (doesn’t seem possible it was that long ago) would categorize the largest offensive tackles as requiring something to the effect of “a $20 cab ride to get around”.

That dollar figure is certainly much inflated now, but the point is – it characterized a very big offensive lineman. Brown was certainly in that category – and Becton is not far off.

Size, of course, is not the ultimate determinant. But the old adage that “a good big man is better than a good small man” might just have validity when talking about offensive lineman. I never agreed with the New England Patriots decision not to resign Trent Brown. I think it was big mistake that they paid for last season – big time.

The two positions that should never be compromised due to salary considerations are quarterback and offensive left tackle. The Patriots had a terrific offensive left tackle and let him leave. They should have paid the man. (Let’s hope they don’t make the same mistake this off season with their quarterback.) Becton, however, might give them an opportunity to rectify the mistake on left tackle.

New England Patriots 2020 NFL Draft: Cesar Ruiz fills O-line needs. dark. Next

According to, Becton also has long arms and large hands – two great attributes for any offensive lineman.

The bad news in all of this is – he’s good and likely too good to be anywhere near available for the Patriots drafting at 23 in the first round.

247Sports cites ESPN’s Todd McShay as projecting Becton to Arizona with the 8th pick in the draft.

Unless the Pats were willing to unload a barrel full of draft capital (two first round picks maybe, 2020 and 2021?) Becton will not be a Patriot. But would he be a great fit!