Jets' Mekhi Becton and Quinnen Williams named to Around the NFL's All-Under-25 Team

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New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams reacts sacking Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams reacts sacking Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick

Around the NFL writer Nick Shook recently released his 2021 All-Under-25 Team, featuring Jets OT Mekhi Becton and DT Quinnen Williams.

Becton is just 22-years-old and showed great promise in his rookie season in 2020, after being selected with the No. 11 overall pick out of Louisville in the 2020 NFL Draft. Shook wrote about Becton's potential after he played in 14 games (13 starts) last season.

The offensive line is a little more difficult to fill out for this exercise because typically linemen who are successful early in their NFL careers spend four years in college, shortening their professional window before they reach 25 years old. In many cases, linemen need that fourth year to complete their development both physically and in their technique. Becton, who entered the draft after three seasons at Louisville, is a bit of an outlier, at least when it comes to size (6-foot-7, 363 pounds).

He dazzled with his massive frame and strength early in his first season with the Jets, but was hampered by injuries. He wasn't the dominant tackle you might expect to see take a spot on a list such as this, ranking 31st in overall grade, per Pro Football Focus, but he has plenty of remaining potential. He's still just 22 years old, meaning he'll likely land here again a year from now as long as he can stay on the field.

Williams, 23, was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Alabama, and after a quiet rookie season he began to show why he was drafted high during the 2020 season. The defensive lineman had just 2.5 sacks with 15 tackles and one fumble recovery over 13 games (nine starts) in 2019, but then had 7.0 sacks with 32 tackles and two forced fumbles in 2020 when he started all 13 games.

Shook believes Williams can be a top-tier interior defensive lineman if he can stay healthy and keep improving.

While some fans were likely checking in on the Jets solely to see where they stood in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes in 2020, Williams was quietly blossoming into a menace on the interior. The second-year defender stuffed rushing attempts at a rate of 7.1 percent, the highest in the league, per Next Gen Stats (min. 260 snaps). Williams recorded seven of his 9.5 career sacks in 2020, showing signs he could be developing into an interior pressure dynamo. His biggest hurdle at this point is staying on the field. Williams has missed three games in each of his two seasons, but if he can put together a full season, he'll be included on lists much more prestigious than this one soon enough.

The Jets' future is beginning to look bright with Becton and Williams anchoring the offensive and defensive lines. Rookie QB Zach Wilson will rely on Becton protecting him, while Williams could see even bigger improvements under head coach Robert Saleh's defensive scheme.

The rest of the All-Under-25 Team is filled out with players like Baltimore Ravens MVP QB Lamar Jackson, Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf, and defensive stars Chase Young of the Washington Football Team and Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.