#54 Nick Becton, OT, Virginia Tech
HGT: 6-5 WGT: 323
Nick Becton started all 13 games at left tackle for the Hokies in 2012, after splitting time with Andrew Lenier in 2011. In Becton’s 1st year as a full-time starter he graded out at the 90% or better range in every game except vs Florida State (83%). Even though Becton was only a full-time starter for 1 season, he still managed to record over 40 knockdown blocks in his career.
Becton has good size, and has a long frame with long arms. Has good, not great, athleticism. Has good feet and the agility to mirror defenders. Shows quickness and strength at the point of attack against defensive ends. Is able to engage and stay on his blocks. Shows he has the quickness and technique to reach and seal edge defenders. Takes good angles to the 2nd level which allows him to, not finish, but occupy defenders. Does a good job of cutting defenders down on quick throws and when he is on the back side of run. Shows he has good instincts to pick up blitzers and stunts he sees early enough. Has a pretty good punch and has good hand placement. Shows he can lockout and anchor against the bull rush. Plays with a good base, is able to widen his base in the run game and to sit on the bull. Painter gets in to his pass set very quickly and locks comfortable kicking. He uses his long arms and agility to run speed rushers over the top of the pocket.
Never really shows explosiveness on tape. Must continue to work on playing with more knee bend and not allow defenders to get under him, there were multiple times in short yardage situations where he got stood-up and knocked back. At times false steps when asked to run block vs tight/head-up shades. Once engaged with defenders, needs to consistently accelerate his feet to finish blocks. Would like to see him drop his hips and be more physical when blocking at the 2nd level. At times will over set, must work on the consistency of his pass-sets. Has trouble getting his shoulders back around and coming off on delayed line stunts and blitzes. Needs to be more patient in pass protection, drops his head and lunges while trying to deliver a knock out punch vs speed rushers, this makes him susceptible to quick in side moves.
Nick Becton does a lot of things good, but at this point does nothing great. Teams have to consider his good size and athleticism when evaluating his upside. I think Becton, with the development of his skill-set, the right system and coaching, will develop in to a serviceable offensive lineman that a team can get in the late rounds.