Former Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton didn’t have to wait very long to hear his name called during Thursday night’s 2020 NFL Draft.
Becton was taken in the first round with the 11th overall pick by the New York Jets.
The Louisville Cardinal football program has now produced a total of eight first round draft picks since 2014.
Becton is Louisville’s highest draft pick since Sheldon Rankins was taken 12th overall by the New Orleans Saints in 2016. Only two former Cardinals have been selected higher than Becton was at the 11th pick. Ken Kortas was selected 9th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964 and Amobi Okoye was taken 10th overall by the Houston Texans in 2007.
The Virginia native had a stellar career at Louisville receiving meaningful snaps since the day he stepped on campus. Becton started nearly every game in his three years at Louisville and became an All ACC performer in 2019.
With his draft stock soaring throughout his junior season Becton decided to forgo his college eligibility and enter the draft. It was at the combine where he took it to a new level turning in a 5.10 time in the 40-yard dash — unofficially the fastest Combine 40 time by an athlete weighing in at 350-plus pounds since 1987.
“I can’t tell you how excited we are to add him to our team,” Jets GM Joe Douglas said in an official statement. “Obviously the first thing that jumps out about Mekhi when you see him play is the size and the ease of his ability to move, his footwork, and then his heavy hands, and how he can move people off the ball.”<