If the Jets are going to draft an offensive lineman at No. 11, many expect they'll be left with the last available of the Big Four tackles. And there's an increasing belief that the last one standing will be Louisville's massive Mekhi Becton.
The 6-7, 364-pounder would literally be a huge pick for the Jets, and if he's the last of the top four still on the board, he could be difficult for them to pass up.
But that's assuming the Jets don't think the Big Four is really a Big Five.
Some scouts do, which adds a bit of a mystery to what the Jets will do if they stay at 11, or whether they might be willing to trade down a little bit. Becton, Iowa's Tristan Wirfs, Alabama's Jedrick Wills and Georgia's Andrew Thomas are generally considered the head of the class.
But some teams think that at least one, and possibly as many as three other tackles aren't that far off.
"People keep leaving out (USC's) Austin Jackson," an NFC scout told SNY. "And a lot of people seem to like (Houston's) Josh Jones and the kid from Boise State (Ezra Cleveland). Maybe they're not right up there with the other four, but I'm telling you some teams are going to have them ranked awfully close."
That could include the Jets, who have looked into all three - Jackson (6-5, 322), Jones (6-5, 319) and Cleveland (6-6, 311) -- as GM Joe Douglas continues his deep dive into the offensive line prospects who'll be available in the NFL Draft next week. It's unclear how the Jets have them rated and whether Douglas would consider any of them at No. 11. But the possibility that they all could be worthy of a Top 15-20 pick - "easily," another scout said - opens up the thought of the Jets trading down and still landing what some consider a top-tier tackle.
The general consensus, though, is there is at least some separation between those three and the "Big Four", which includes Becton, who is the biggest of the bunch by far and still has remarkable athleticism and 5.1 speed. It seems all but certain that two, and maybe three, will go in the Top 10 and the projected order depends on who is asked.
More and more league insiders, though, seem to think Becton is the most likely to slip out of the Top 10.
"He'll be the fourth one off the board," said one NFL source. "He probably was always the fourth best, but then people fell in love with his size. The more they look, though, the more it's obvious the others are more pro-ready prospects and have fewer concerns."
The "concerns" about Becton aren't big enough to knock him out of the Top 15, of course. Most of them revolve around his weight, which leads to worries about injuries, about maintaining his quickness, and about keeping it manageable throughout his career. He's so strong and agile, though, that his size could also be a temptation for teams looking for an anchor on the left side of their line.
Several sources said the belief is the Jets would prefer the 6-5, 315-pound Thomas or the 6-4, 312-pound Wills (most think the 6-5, 320-pound Wirfs will be long gone by the time the Jets pick). And that again opens up the question of whether the Jets, faced with the choice of Becton, would prefer to trade down.
Trading down does have advantages, especially considering Douglas' desire to build the Jets through the draft. He'd likely have to stay inside the Top 15 to still be able to land Jackson, who was quarterback Sam Darnold's former teammate (though he was only a backup at the time).
"He's a gem if he gets the right coach who can fix his technique problems," one scout said. "With a little work, he could be as good as the other four."
Douglas could potentially drop even lower if he sets his eyes on Jones, whom the scout said "is in the same boat as Jackson, but a little less polished," or Cleveland, who is undersized but has "unlimited potential if he bulks up," the scout said.
It's possible neither of them would be considered Day 1 starters, but that could be fine for the Jets who signed George Fant in free agency to be their left tackle and return Chuma Edoga, another USC product, at right tackle. Douglas did enough with the line this offseason to buy the Jets some time to develop whichever offensive linemen they draft.
All he has to do is decide if he wants to take one in the first round - and which of the seven he really wants.