Although Jets LT Mekhi Becton hasn't participated in OTAs and minicamp because of a foot injury, he's champing at the bit to take the field with rookie Alijah Vera-Tucker.
"I was ecstatic because he's a dog," Becton said of the team drafting Vera-Tucker. "I know we're ready to do some things on that line."
"He complements my game really well," he added late. "We both like to finish guys, we both like to see guys on the ground. I feel like we could be really good together."
Becton envisions himself and Vera-Tucker, who was selected No. 14 overall in the 2021 draft, to be a part of the left side of the Jets offensive line for a long time. But first, he needs to get back on the field and Head Coach Robert Saleh expects No. 77 to be healthy for training camp. Saleh didn't want to rush Becton back for this week's minicamp.
"Mekhi's a young man, a very talented young man, a very large young man, and he's learning every day on what it takes to be a professional and how to take that next step," he said. "So we've got a lot of faith in him, he's doing all the right things right now and we're excited to get him to training camp and get to work with him."
Becton has been working on a side field during practice with the rest of the players rehabbing. He said it's been frustrating not being able to practice, but on the positive side, this is the first in-person offseason program he's been a part of because last year everything in the spring was virtual.
"I feel like I'll benefit a lot, especially with us having a whole new coaching staff and a new scheme," he said. "I'll benefit a whole lot because I'm going through different plays, meeting new people and playing with a new guard. I'll benefit a whole lot with having an offseason this year."
Becton (6-7, 363) focused on his diet throughout the offseason -- he hired a personal chef and has been mainly eating fish and vegetables. He's comfortable with his current weight, a topic that's frequently brought up, but doesn't bother him, despite him saying that he does not know the current number.
Becton quickly emerged as one of the NFL's best young tackles as a rookie in the 2020 season, playing in 14 games. This offseason, he focused on his hands.
"I would say keying in more on my hand placement and know where to put it when it's not in the right spot," he said. "Just like knowing where my feet are, feeling the ground and how I'm supposed to step and things like that."
As for the system change, Becton's comfortable with that, too.
"I've run similar things in the past," he said. "Gap schemes, outside-zone schemes, inside-zone schemes, I've ran similar things with Bobby Petrino in college, so I'm pretty used to it."
And he's a fan of both his new coach.
"He's full of energy," he said of Saleh. "Always. All the time. He's always full of energy. He's never down, he's always trying to uplift us. He's a great guy."
See the Best Images of the Jets on the Field During Minicamp Practice No. 1