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After whiffing on tackles in the draft, Eagles add former 1st-round pick

After whiffing on tackles in the draft, Eagles add former 1st-round pick originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

One day after Howie Roseman said he was surprised the Eagles didn’t select an offensive lineman in the first few rounds of the draft, they signed a former 1st-rounder.

The Eagles have agreed to contract terms with Mekhi Becton, the 11th pick in the 2020 draft out of Louisville. Becton spent the last four years with the Jets, but they let him hit free agency this offseason and signed two 33-year-olds – Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses.

NBC Sports Philadelphia confirmed the news, originally reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter reported the deal is a one-year contract worth $5.5 million. The agreement is pending Becton passing his physical.

For the first time since 2018, the Eagles this year didn’t draft an offensive lineman in the first four rounds, and Howie Roseman made it clear he would continue looking for o-line help. It didn’t take long for him to find it.

With Jack Driscoll signing with the Dolphins, the Eagles’ top offensive tackle backup behind starters Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson was journeyman Fred Johnson, who spent last year on the 53-man roster after a good training camp.

But a healthy Becton gives the Eagles an experienced veteran with experience at both right and left tackle.

Becton, who just turned 26 on April 18, started 13 games for the Jets as a rookie but suffered a knee injury in the Jets’ 2021 season opener against the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., and he missed the rest of the season.

He returned in 2022 and moved to right tackle in the preseason but suffered an avulsion fracture in his right kneecap during training camp and missed the entire season.

So he played just 48 snaps over the 2021 and 2022 seasons. But he stayed healthy last year and started a career-high 16 games.

You always take Pro Football Focus grades with a grain of salt, but PFF graded Becton 56.3 as a run blocker last year and 60.7 as a pass blocker. Among 70 offensive tackles who played at least 500 snaps last year, he ranked 53rd in run blocking and 55th in pass blocking.

For the sake of comparison, Johnson ranked 13th as a run blocker and 12th as a pass blocker and Mailata ranked fifth as a run blocker and sixth as a pass blocker. But for a depth piece, you’re not going to do much better than a former 1st-round pick with experience at both tackles.

Becton is the fifth former 1st-round pick the Eagles have added this offseason, following Saquon Barkley, DeVante Parker, Kenny Pickett and Devin White.

The Eagles and Jets have exchanged several players this offseason, with the Eagles signing former Jets Bryce Huff, C.J. Uzomah and Becton and the Jets trading for Haason Reddick. Jets GM Joe Douglas worked under Roseman from 2016 through 2019.

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