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Mekhi Becton of the Eagles is “Prepared for Battle” as he transitions to Guard position

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Mekhi Becton’s Transition to Guard with the Philadelphia Eagles

PHILADELPHIA – Mekhi Becton’s Transition to Guard with the Eagles

Mekhi Becton strode across the stage inside the auditorium at the Eagles training facility on Thursday morning, and you kind of felt sorry for the folding chair he was about to sit on.

Earlier in the week, defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, no small man himself at 6-5, 250-plus pounds probably, nearly broke it.

Becton took his seat, and said, “It’s a little tight.”

Well, duh. He’s 6-7, 365 pounds, so everywhere he goes, things are probably a little tight.

Where he may go next is right guard. Becton played left guard next to Jordan Mailata during the three-day minicamp that wrapped on Thursday because Landon Dickerson was excused for personal reasons.

If the Eagles skipped a beat with Becton in that spot, it wasn’t evident. What was evident is that this experiment for the lifelong tackle to move to guard doesn’t look like it’s about to blow up anytime soon. Also apparent was that Becton is pushing Mailata for the biggest player on the team.

Mekhi Becton takes a breather during the Philadelphia Eagles minicamp.

Mailata said Becton has that competition already won.

He’s bigger,” said the 6-8, 380-pound Mailata. Perhaps the measurements don’t tell the whole story, but there’s width to Becton that can’t be measured.

Becton won’t supplant Dickerson at left guard, but could right guard be in play? Right now, Tyler Steen is working there, but Becton will push him to line up next to Lane Johnson.

“Mekhi’s a huge guy, a lot of potential,” said Johnson. “…Just a big, strong, powerful dude. I think he’s going to help us a lot this year whether he plays tackle or guard, but a guy that big that can move that well, we definitely need him out there.”

Johnson and Mailata are two reasons Becton said he wanted to come to Philly when the New York Jets declined to pick up his fifth-year option after taking him No. 11 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. That decision cast Becton into the free-agent pool this offseason.

The Eagles swooped in after draft, signing him on April 29 to a one-year worth up to $5.5 million.

Johnson and Mailata aren’t the only reasons Becton wanted to come to Philly. He wanted to be coached by Jeff Stoutland, whose idea it was to ask Becton to try guard.

“I got Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata in the same room so those are the two guys I look up to,” said Becton. “They’re great players. I got coach Stout and we have a great team here with Jalen Hurts, Saquon, AJ, just seeing all the firepower we have on this team, it just made sense.”

When Stoutland asked about playing a guard, Becton never waivered.

“I’m always the type to be open to whatever,” he said. “Then when you have a coach like coach Stoutland and the way he treats his players and the way he talks to them you’ll do whatever for him. He came up to me with the opportunity, I was open for it. I like to try new things anyway.”

So, Becton simply said, “OK.”

“It’s definitely a different adjustment for me,” he said. “I never played it before, but it’s fun. The action is right there than at tackle. Tackle they get a chance to build their speed up and stuff like that, but guard it’s all hand work and you have to be ready to fight right then and there.

“There’s no 6-7 guards, so D-tackles are usually used to short people with shorter arms, so I feel like I have an advantage in that with my arms and my arm length and being able to get on them quicker than they’re used to somebody getting on them.”

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