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The next Cleveland Browns lineman? Louisville's Mekhi Becton's speed dazzles at NFL Combine

Becton is seen by many as a top target for the Browns in the upcoming draft.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Browns need offensive line help, and Mekhi Becton is one of the top O-line prospects in this year's NFL draft. Could it be a match made in Heaven?

Only time will tell, but one thing's for sure: Cleveland (as well as the rest of the league) seems impressed by the Louisville tackle's performance so far at the NFL Combine.

Despite being 6-foot-7 and weighing a robust 357 pounds, Becton ran the 40-yard dash in just 5.1 seconds on Wednesday. According to ESPN, that's the fastest time for any player his size since 2006.

The run went viral on social media, and was even tweeted out by the Browns themselves.

Still just 20 years old, Becton earned first-team All-ACC honors last season while helping Louisville to an 8-5 record (a six-game improvement from 2018). He declared for the NFL Draft in December, and is currently rated by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. as this year's second-best offensive lineman. In his latest mock draft, Kiper also has the Browns taking Becton with the 10th overall pick.

"The Browns' need at left tackle is so obvious," Kiper wrote. "Becton can be an immediate starter on Baker Mayfield's blind side, and he'll be a beast in the running game in front of Nick Chubb."

Kiper isn't wrong about the Browns O-line, as Pro Football Focus ranked the unit 23rd in the NFL in 2019 despite guard Joel Bitonio again earning All-Pro honors. The all-important left tackle spot was filled by Greg Robinson, who is a free agent and unlikely to be re-signed (especially now that he is facing time in federal prison).

Cleveland's only draft pick on the O-line last year was sixth-round pick Drew Forbes out of Southeast Missouri State, who began the season on injured reserve and played in just two games. The team has not taken an O-lineman in the first round since 2015, when it took Cameron Erving at No. 19.

Credit: Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini
Cameron Erving stands on stage after being drafted 19th by the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Thursday, April 30, 2015, in Chicago.

Besides his impressive 40 time, Becton also completed 23 bench press reps. He later sat out the rest of the day due to what NFL Network's Kimberly Jones called "hamstring tightness."

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