MOBILE, AL — With the NFL world descending upon Mobile, plenty of people are talking, which means we’re able to pick up on the latest NFL news and rumors from around the league. Today (Tuesday, February 1), I was able to gain more insight on the Jets’ offensive line, the Jaguars’ front office situation, and how scouts are ranking the top wide receivers in the NFL Draft.
NFL News and Rumors: George Fant, Mekhi Becton, Rick Spielman, and WR1 in the 2022 NFL Draft
Here’s the latest news and rumors I’m hearing from sources around the NFL. We’ll begin with the looming Jets’ offensive line battle between George Fant and Mekhi Becton…if there will even be one at all.
Will there be a true competition between Jets OL George Fant and Mekhi Becton?
Immediately before the 2021 NFL season ended for the New York Jets, I reported the team’s offensive coaches wanted to move forward with Fant as their left tackle. Many of these coaches said they were ready to move on from Becton, the first-round pick from the 2020 NFL Draft that’s not been very dependable as of late.
Today, NFL beat writers for the New York Jets reported from the Senior Bowl the news that there will be an open competition between Fant and Becton for the left tackle spot next season — this according to head coach Robert Saleh.
And while that may be true, NFL sources close to the situation tell me that Fant has been informed the left tackle position is his to lose. I have confirmed the rumor that the Jets are trying to extend Fant’s contract as the NFL veteran enters the final season of the three-year deal he signed in 2020.
Becton working to get back in proper physical condition
Becton was a topic of conversation this weekend during Shrine Bowl practices. News was reported that Becton weighed over 370 pounds in December as he continued to recover from a knee injury he sustained during the first game of the NFL season.
Two sources — one in Vegas at Shrine practice and another here today in Mobile — told me Becton was actually tipping the scales at over 400 pounds by the end of the season.
Many still believe the former first-round pick, who showed so much potential in 2020, will be able to turn it around and get back on the field in proper condition. But it seems the Jets continue to lose faith in their former first-round pick.
NFL News and Rumors: Rick Spielman to work alongside Jaguars GM Trent Baalke?
Earlier today, reports emerged that Rick Spielman is interviewing with the Jacksonville Jaguars for a front office position. I hear it’s a position where Spielman would work with Trent Baalke rather than replace the embattled general manager. Spielman would be in the wings if the team eventually fires Baalke down the road.
Last week, PFN Insider Aaron Wilson reported that Baalke was a concern for some for those interviewing with the Jaguars, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. Wilson also reported that some believe Baalke will be let go after the 2022 NFL Draft.
WR1 in the 2022 NFL Draft: Garrett Wilson or Jameson Williams?
Receiver rankings for the 2022 NFL Draft are all over the board, and it’s anyone’s guess how they’ll fall in the draft. But here’s what I’m piecing together after talking with people the past couple of days.
Right now, it looks like the top spot a the position could go to either Garrett Wilson of Ohio State or Jameson Williams of Alabama. Medical exams on Williams’ knee during the 2022 NFL Combine loom large in his final ranking.
There are a lot of teams who like Treylon Burks of Arkansas as the third wideout on the board. But just as many fear he’ll turn into the next N’Keal Harry.
While teams like Chris Olave, they feel he doesn’t have great upside. Is he already at his ceiling? Drake London draws a variety of opinions. Teams like London’s ability but fear he’s just a big college wideout who’ll struggle separating at the next level.