When Jets GM Joe Douglas called Mekhi Becton to say that he was being selected 11th overall, he mentioned a talk the two of them had about the Louisville product's goals in the NFL. Douglas said he was ready to work with him to get his "team and personal" ones accomplished.
It all starts next season.
During a Zoom conference call with media on Monday, Becton gave his rookie goals. It was one team goal and one personal goal.
"I want to start as a rookie and I want to make the playoffs," Becton said. "Those would be my rookie goals."
That first goal is something everyone expects to come to fruition when Week 1 comes around. Becton was drafted to be Sam Darnold's blindside protector for the foreseeable future. His size at 6-foot-7, 364 pounds to go along with his athleticism makes him the best tackle on paper when looking at the Jets' depth chart.
As for the team goal, there's much more than just Becton's production that will lead to it. Adding another wild card slot for each conference helps matters, and so does the AFC East being wide open with Tom Brady finally out of New England. However, keeping Darnold upright and giving Le'Veon Bell leverage in the run game will help tremendously.
That's what Becton continues to work on during his awkward rookie transition into the NFL. He mentioned the team meetings done over video conferencing that he's been a part of. But he's also doing his part to build relationships with his new teammates on his own.
"Me and Sam have actually texted each other the other day. I'm definitely going to try to find a way to form a relationship between us sooner or later," he said. "I texted Le'Veon Bell as well.
"The rookies have been doing side meetings on their own with the vets. I've just been studying and doing extra studying with the playbook. That's what I've been getting from [the meetings]."
And while the meetings might be stressful being a totally new way of learning for these rookies, Becton did have some fun thinking about what number he wants to wear to start off his career. Of course, teams give rookies their numbers, but suggestions are allowed. And when cuts are made for the final roster, numbers will open up for players to wear as well.
Becton wore No. 73 during his Cardinal days, but it's retired for Joe Klecko. So he had an idea that he let his GM know about.
"I've talked to Joe Douglas about it. I told him that I wanted to wear 77," Becton said. "I don't know if I got it yet or not.
"I wanted to try something new. I didn't feel right in 70, that's my high school number. And then 73 is retired. So I feel like 77 is just a different journey, a new journey to start."
Becton already knows what he must do to start that new journey on the right foot -- no matter what jersey number he'll be wearing.