Meet Jets’ mammoth lineman Mekhi Becton on and off the field


Mammoth offensive tackle Mekhi Becton — the Jets’ 6-foot-7, 364-pound first-round draft pick, 11th overall, out of Louisville — blocks out some time for his first Q&A with Post columnist Steve Serby.

Q: What do you like better: pancakes or pancake blocks?
A: (Laugh) I like pancake blocks better.

Q: You don’t like pancakes?
A: Pancakes are good, but I love to have a pancake block [more] than a pancake.

Q: What’s so great about a pancake block?
A: It’s just funny like seeing you push a man on the ground and then like you can jump on top of him. I have a whole lot of fun doing that.

Q: What weight do you want to play at?
A: About 355, 360.

Q: How can you assure Jets fans that weight will never be a problem for you?
A: I’m on a diet, the 50/50 diet, that’s what I’ve been working on. It’s been working for me, so that’s what I’m gonna stick to.

Q: What is the biggest meal you ever had?
A: I couldn’t even tell you. I don’t remember. Oh wait, yeah I do. I had a tomahawk dream at Jeff Ruby’s before.

Q: Potatoes with it?
A: Yeah, I had potatoes with it. Mashed potatoes. And a caesar salad.

Q: What is your shirt size?
A: 3X.

Q: Is it tough finding a suit?
A: Definitely. I gotta get mine custom-made. It’s definitely hard getting a suit.

Q: Do you like being as big as you are?
A: Yeah, I like being as big as I am.

Mekhi Becton
Mekhi BectonAP

Q: Tell me why.
A: In crowded places I can see over people. … I can reach top shelves. I don’t know, I just like being tall.

Q: Have you watched “The Last Dance” documentary?
A: Yes, I’ve been watching it.

Q: What do you think about Michael Jordan’s competitiveness?
A: He competes every day, and how he competes with his teammates … his opponents … I like the way how he can make up his own scenario of him being mad and he goes out that night and drops 50 or something.

Q: Do you do that yourself?
A: I used to do it. I get mad before every game.

Q: What gets you mad before every game?
A: Just stuff I’ve been through my upbringing. I just think about how far I came. The work that I put in to get where I’m at now.

Q: GM Joe Douglas promised Sam Darnold’s parents that he would protect him. How do you feel about that?
A: He’s not wrong, that’s all I can say, he’s not wrong.

Q: You’ll be entrusted with protecting their son.
A: Yup. That’s like my job.

Q: Do you get ticked off when you allow a sack?
A: Yeah, definitely, I take pride in that, ’cause I don’t like to see my quarterback on the ground.

Q: Describe your on-field mentality.
A: Dominant.

Q: What’s your definition of dominant?
A: Just have the man in front of me on the ground almost every play, and just beat him up the whole game, that’s what I would say.

Q: Why do you say you have a big chip on your shoulder?
A: ’Cause I’ve been doubted all my life. People have been doubting me since high school. I got a chip on my shoulder, and it’s gonna stay there forever. It’s gonna always be there. I’m gonna keep playing as if I never got anything.

Q: Why do you think you think you’ve been doubted for such a long time?
A: Doubt comes with the profession that I’m in now. So it’s nothing new to me, nothing different.

Q: So you use that as fuel then, right?
A: Yeah, definitely.

Q: What is the pressure of being a first-round pick?
A: It’s a lot of pressure, but at the same time I gotta go play football. It’s the same game I’ve been playing all my life.

Submit questions on your favorite New York teams to be answered in an upcoming mailbag

Q: What are your thoughts on the Giants’ first-round pick, Georgia left tackle Andrew Thomas, who went fourth overall?
A: He got drafted in the first round for a reason. He’s a pretty good player.

Q: Were you disappointed that the Giants didn’t take you? He was the first tackle drafted.
A: Nah, I wasn’t disappointed at all. I’m right where I’m supposed to be at.

Q: You thought you were the best tackle in the draft, though, correct?
A: Yeah, I mean, but that’s fine, though. I’m right where I’m supposed to be at.

Q: What have you learned about Jets coach Adam Gase?
A: He’s a guy that will shoot you straight, I know that much.

Q: What is the best block you ever made?
A: I would say [a] sideline block against Syracuse.

Q: Describe that one.
A: It was an outside zone play. The [defensive] end tried to come upfield, I pushed him. And then he tried to run some more upfield, I pushed him again and he ended up on the sideline, he was in the white a little bit, and I finished him while he was in the white — out of bounds.

Q: Do you have a jersey number yet?
A: I’m hoping to go with 77.

Q: Is that a lucky number for you?
A: I had 70 in high school and I wore 73 in college, so I’ll just go with 77, try something new.

Q: You don’t know for a fact if you’re getting it, right?
A: I talked to Joe Douglas, I asked if I could have that number, he said he was gonna talk to some people and let me know.

Q: If you could test your skills against any pass-rusher in NFL history, who would it be?
A: There’s a lot to choose from, to be honest with you. Julius Peppers.

Q: Why him?
A: He’s 6-7, 6-8, he plays basketball, he’s an athlete, so I feel like he’s myself in D-line form, so I feel like that’s a good matchup I can go against.

Q: If you could pick the brain of any offensive tackle in NFL history, who would it be?
A: Jonathan Ogden.

Q: Why him?
A: It’s a guy I would like to idolize my game after.

Q: Why did your grandmother, Crystal Minor, mean so much to you?
A: I told her I was gonna make it to the league — since I was a little kid, I told her that. Before she passed, I told her I was gonna make it for her. She believed in me.

Q: What do you remember about her as a lady?
A: She was real goofy too, that’s what I can remember. She always made sure I was good. That’s all I can say.

Mekhi Becton and his familySemone Becton

Q: In what way are you goofy?
A: I just like to joke a lot. I just like having fun, I like to smile, I like to see other people smile.

Q: Was that a devastating moment for you — 10 years ago when she died from breast cancer?
A: Yeah, definitely was.

Q: Describe your visit to Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, N.J.
A: That was probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. Just being able to see them kids smile and their feelings to ’em that they were invited to a game.

Q: What has been your best football moment?
A: Winning my second straight title in high school.

Q: Boyhood idol?
A: Shaq.

Q: Why Shaquille O’Neal?
A: Because he’s a big guy, I’m a big guy. I just see a lot of myself in him. I just loved the way he played the game of basketball.

Q: What drives you?
A: Seeing my little brothers smile. And seeing my parents smile, and my girlfriend smile. They’re my “why,” so they’re the reason I do everything I’m doing.

Q: Why do your little brothers — Michael, 12, and Mason, 3 — mean so much to you?
A: They mean so much to me because they got friends who, “Your brother’s this, your brother’s that,” and they just got people talking to ’em about me and they’re walking around with their chest out, so I feel like it’s up to me to make them proud.

Q: Tyler Haycraft played right tackle opposite you at Louisville and was signed by the Giants as an undrafted free agent. Can he adjust to center?
A: Yeah, he definitely can. I think he can play guard, tackle, anything. I feel like he’s able to adjust if they need him to adjust.

Q: Describe your Louisville offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford.
A: That man changed my life. He changed my whole technique. He told me what I was doing right, what I was doing wrong. He just changed everything for me.

Q: What was the biggest change that he made?
A: Just me finishing.

Q: You’ve been training in Dallas with Duke Manyweather.
A: He’s been working on the little things I need to work on that’s gonna help me succeed to the next level.

Q: An anonymous scout was quoted as saying you like cooking more than you like football.
A: I laughed at it. That’s all I can do.

Q: Mekhi is not a common name.
A: My mom said she got it from the actor, Mekhi Phifer. That name is unique, so she just gave it to me.

Q: Three dinner guests?
A: 1, Shaq; 2, LeBron [James]; and for my third one … probably Jay-Z.

Q: Why LeBron and Jay-Z?
A: All three of those guys have like good financial things going on, like good businesses going on, outside of what their profession is. So I would be able to just pick their brain that whole dinner and just try and figure out what ideas they had and see if I can mold ’em to myself.

Q: Favorite movie?
A: “Friday.”

Q: Favorite actor?
A: Will Smith.

Q: Favorite actress?
A: Queen Latifah.

Q: Favorite meal?
A: Steak and potatoes and caesar salad.

Q: You’ve never been to New York. What are you looking forward to seeing first?
A: Gotta see Times Square — gotta see that for sure. It’s just a lot of different spots I gotta hit up.

Q: What is your message to Jets fans?
A: Let them know that I’m ready. I can’t wait to get out there and play, it’s gonna be special.

Q: Career goals?
A: To start as a rookie … I want to be a Pro Bowler. … I also want to win a Super Bowl. … And be a Hall of Famer.

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