ARIZONA CARDINALS

OT Mekhi Becton is a large man surging at the NFL Draft Combine

Feb 28, 2020, 3:32 PM
Louisville offensive lineman Mekhi Becton speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scou...
Louisville offensive lineman Mekhi Becton speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Signing left tackle D.J. Humphries to a three-year deal this offseason and watching right tackle Justin Murray improve last year has taken pressure off the Arizona Cardinals.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury admitted the latter alleviates the pressure they feel to draft a starting-caliber tackle at No. 8, but one workout warrior’s NFL Draft Combine performance might raise GM Steve Keim’s eyebrows a bit.

Louisville tackle Mekhi Becton, who measured in as the biggest player at the combine earlier in the week at 364 pounds, unofficially ran a 5.11-second 40-yard dash on Friday.

The 6-foot-7 lineman has experience at right tackle and before clocking in on Friday was already considered by some to challenge for the top tackle taken off the board in the April draft. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. had Becton 11th on his big board just before the combine.

You can’t miss him on the field. With long arms and a 6-foot-7 frame, Becton sticks out. And he dominates at the point of attack, pushing aside pass-rushers but also showing tremendous feet for his size. He is rising after the end of the season, once teams got a closer look at his junior season tape. He could end up being the No. 1 tackle off the board in April.

For an offensive lineman, Becton’s 1.80 10-yard split is right at the 1.79 average for lineman last year, impressive considering his weight.

Even more impressive is how he’s carrying the weight. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Becton only has 17% body fat.

Does this intrigue the Cardinals enough to make them consider taking an offensive lineman?

Before extending Humphries, Arizona was widely expected to consider Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs or Alabama’s Jedrick Wills as a tackle addition at the No. 8 slot in the draft order. Becton could have them thinking about him as well.

Picking the Louisville product would certainly make for an exciting offensive line to protect quarterback Kyler Murray. On paper it would improve the second-leading rushing attack in 2019 and give Arizona comfort knowing a player like Murray could be a depth option.

But with the availability of wide receivers like CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy, and defensive front additions like DT Derrick Brown or LB Isaiah Simmons, going offensive lineman would still surprise.

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OT Mekhi Becton is a large man surging at the NFL Draft Combine