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Eagles’ Jordan Mailata endorsing Mekhi Becton’s transition to guard: ‘Makes me want to play next to him’

USATSI

PHILADELPHIA — Mekhi Becton is taking full advantage of his second chance with the Philadelphia Eagles, learning a position that didn’t seem to be possible with his former team. The Eagles decided a few weeks into Becton’s tenure with the team to try him out at guard, already having him lined up on the first team at left guard at mandatory minicamp.

There’s a disclaimer to all this. Landon Dickerson, one of the best left guards in the NFL, is excused from minicamp on a personal absence. The Eagles didn’t have to put the 6-foot-7, 363-pound Becton at left guard this soon, but they gave the former first-round pick a shot anyway. 

By all accounts, it’s going very well. 

“He’s doing a good job. He’s never played guard in the NFL and Stout’s [Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland is] doing a great job of trying to teach him in multiple positions,” said Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata. “Stout always talks about the value you add and I think he wants that for Mekhi to see what else Mekhi can do other than tackle. 

“We know he can play tackle, but what else does he bring to the table?”

The Eagles are certainly finding out what Becton is made of, fitting considering there is a competition at right guard. Tyler Steen has opened minicamp as the first-team right guard, with Matt Hennessy behind him on the second team. Philadelphia hasn’t settled in at guard depth either, signing Max Scharping this week (Scharping has made 33 starts in five seasons). 

When Becton was brought in last month, it was believed he would be the No. 3 tackle behind Mailata and Lane Johnson. That may still be the case, as Becton has lined up as the second-team right tackle in the voluntary OTA portion of minicamp. Fred Johnson, who strictly lined up at left tackle last season, has been on the second team at right tackle while Becton has been playing left guard. 

That also could be a sign the Eagles are willing to let Becton battle it out with Steen for the vacant right guard job. Becton appears ready to take that leap. 

“Mekhi has done a great job of just saying yes,” Mailata said. “He hasn’t questioned him [Stoutland]. He’s never said I’ve never done it. He in fact embraced the opportunity to learn how to play guard. When I see things like that from Mekhi it just makes me want to play next to him, if his number was called. You want guys who are just going to be willing and able to put the team first before their own needs. 

“I think Mekhi does a great job of doing that, even though he has no experience. He’s just out here learning, he’s growing, and he’s chipping away every day trying to get better at guard.”

Becton has already fit into the Eagles culture, just by being friendly with the other linemen. Also worth noting the Eagles offensive line is the tightest-knit group on the roster. 

A great sign how Becton is fitting in with his new team. 

“I feel like I’ve known him forever,” Mailata said. “It’s just really easy to get along with him. He’s funny, he’s smart, very athletic, but then he’s like an old friend who just came in. 

“I spoke to him two times before he came to the Eagles. Now we speak every day which is good.”

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Author: Jeff Kerr
June 6, 2024 | 9:35 am

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