Eagles Sign Former First-Round Pick to Help Jalen Hurts, Saquon Barkley

The Philadelphia Eagles added nine players during the 2024 NFL Draft, and shortly after the draft’s conclusion signed a former first-round offensive tackle to provide quality depth behind Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Eagles signed former New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton to a one-year contract. Schefter reports that Becton’s one-year deal is worth $5.5 million.

Becton, 25, is a bit of a reclamation project having never quite lived up to his billing as the No. 11 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.

However, in Philadelphia, Becton gets to learn from and play under Jeff Stoutland, widely considered among the premier offensive line coaches not only across the NFL but to have coached the position in recent decades.

In all likelihood, the 6-foot-7 and 363-pound Becton will serve as the Eagles’ swing tackle behind Johnson and Mailata.

Last season, according to Pro Football Focus, Becton allowed a whopping 12 sacks, and 50 total quarterback pressures. Becton was also flagged for 18 penalties during a disastrous season for the Jets.

There are cases of former first-round picks benefitting from a change of scenery, and in Philadelphia Becton will be relieved of the pressure of anchoring an offensive line in the starting lineup.

General manager Howie Roseman and the Eagles are betting on Becton’s first-round pedigree and fresh mindset unlocking whatever remains of his upside.

Mekhi Becton Aims to Put Injury History Behind Him

First and foremost before Becton can contribute quality snaps should Mailata or Johnson suffer an injury during the upcoming 2024 season, he must prove that he is capable of staying healthy.

Becton arrives in Philadelphia with a lengthy injury history, missing 33 of 34 possible games from 2021 through 2022 and playing in just 30 of a possible 67 games since hearing his name called on draft night.

During his rookie season, in 2020, Becton was plagued by a nagging shoulder injury and then required two knee surgeries to repair a pair of injuries; a torn MCL in Week 1 of the 2021 campaign and then a fractured kneecap suffered during training camp ahead of the 2022 season.

If Becton can stay healthy, he’ll add a veteran presence to one of the most consistently dominant offensive lines in the league with the potential to put his past struggles behind him should he be pressed into action this season.

Howie Roseman Explains Eagles’ Plethora of NFL Draft Trades

In addition to selecting nine players during the NFL Draft, general manager Howie Roseman and the Eagles made eight trades, including adding selections in 2025.

Across the league, there is a perception that the 2025 class could be significantly deeper, given that the extra COVID-19 year of eligibility will have been exhausted by players, so it will be a deeper draft pool based on fewer prospects returning to school.

Following the draft, Roseman explained why the Eagles made several trades, including to up their selections in the 2025 draft to nine.

“We were a little light for next year’s draft going into day three today,” Roseman told reporters. “And so I think that was a little bit of a focus in the trade talks. Sometimes you’re in trade talks and kind of going, ‘Hey, I’ll take a pick in this year’s draft.’ So in those talks more focused today in particular about instead of a this year pick, we’ll take a next year pick just because we wanted to get back some of the picks that we had gotten rid of next year.

“We felt like we had an opportunity with the amount of picks we had today to get a lot of players that we liked, and we were also excited about the draft process. You guys all talked about it. It will be a little bit different draft class next year because of the amount of guys that are coming out next year. That was kind of in the back of our mind.”

In addition to their own picks next spring, the Eagles now also own an additional third-round pick from the Miami Dolphins, a fourth-round pick from the Detroit Lions, and a fifth-round pick from the Houston Texans.

 

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