New York Jets first-round pick Mekhi Becton garnered plenty of buzz on the first day of padded practice. The size of the 6-foot-7, 363-pound offensive tackle out of Louisville stood out to teammates.
"He caught me," linebacker Neville Hewitt said, via the team's official website. "I tried to get into the gap and he came off the ball pretty good. I was pretty impressed. He's a pretty big fella. ... If you see him coming, you better go at him because if you don't, he's going to get you. You better go at him."
Becton's size and strength stand out, especially to defenders who have the task of getting by the massive rookie. The 21-year-old also owns athleticism to move that large body around. But it's his size that had Jets defenders marveling.
"He made himself known out there and what he's capable of doing," LB Blake Cashman said. "It's all good competition. He's a great player. He's going to be somebody that's going to play a long time in this league and has more potential to grow. The first thing that stands out is just his size. Today in practice, I had to come down and take him on one-on-one. Let's just say that didn't go well for me. It's fun to watch him, fun to compete against him and I think he's going to help our offense out big-time this year."
Becton's combination of size and athleticism -- running a 5.1-second 40-yard dash -- made him the No. 11 overall pick as the Jets attempt to revamp their offensive line.
For those benefiting from Becton's blocking, it's a welcome sight to have the rookie paving the way.
"He's just different, man," 37-year-old Frank Gore said. "He's one of the biggest guys out there. I have to see more, this was the first day in pads. Every day I just have to watch him and watch film of not just him but everybody. Then I can tell. The first day, he was talking to me out there and saying, 'I'm going to get you four yards' and I like that.
"He can move. I watched him when he got drafted, just watching him play basketball and watching him slam guys into the ground. Even out here, moving pretty well. To be that big, that's crazy."
Size isn't everything. We've seen large men fail in the past. But the Jets believe Becton's combo of size and athleticism will give them a stonewaller on Sam Darnold's blind side for years to come.
The rookie has the physical traits to be a stud from day one. Now during training camp, he has to confirm he's got the mental acuity to pick up the offense sans an offseason workout program.