Football teams are filled with large men, but you know someone is really, really big when football players are shocked by his size.
Such is the case with Jets tackle Mekhi Becton. At 6-foot-7 and somewhere north of 360 pounds, he draws stares when teammates meet him.
“To get here and the first thing that you see, ‘This is a big dude,’ ” said Sheldon Rankins (6-2, 305 pounds). “I’ve done seen some big people but he’s [bleeping] big. That’s the first thing you think. After 10 minutes of thinking that, you see him move and see how gracefully he moves for a guy that big.”
Rankins, a sixth-year pro, attended the same college as Becton — Louisville — so he paid attention to Becton’s college career, but he was still stunned when he saw him for the first time.
Right tackle Morgan Moses (6-foot-6, 318 pounds) met Becton when Becton was in college, but said it was jarring when he stood next to him.
“You look at the guy, and I thought I was a big dude and line up with him and I’m like, ‘Dang, he’s blocking the sun from me,’ ” Moses said.
One of the highlights of training camp has been Becton going against defensive end Carl Lawson. It is a battle their teammates are paying attention to.
“You see the potential that he’s still tapping into,” Rankins said of Becton. “Each and every day he’s going against one of the best edge rushers in the league, so he’s going to get challenged. He’s going to win some and he’s going to lose some. That’s just the way this league works.”
The Jets will practice in pads for the first time Tuesday. That could lead to more fights in practice. OL Cameron Clark and DL Tanzel Smart traded punches Monday before the pads even came on. Coach Robert Saleh wants his guys to be smart.
“You want to be as physical as possible,” Saleh said. “I think we all understand that there’s going to be scuffles, especially when it gets hotter. We’ve been lucky with the weather, but they’re going to get sick of going against one another. There’s going to be scuffles, but the biggest thing is just don’t throw punches at one another. We don’t need guys coming off on the sideline and creating a bigger scuffle. It’s more protect the team and understanding that it’s a mindset to draw the 15-yard penalty than get the 15-yard penalty. I understand that it’s going to happen, it’s not that we want it to happen, but at the same time, keep your composure. It’s good practice for the game when it happens, but we’re trying to keep it in house.”