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Louisville’s giant offensive tackle Mekhi Becton wows NFL Combine in the 40

Louisville offensive lineman Mekhi Becton, 20, is expected to be a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft.michael conroy/Associated Press

Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton is widely projected as a top-10 pick in April’s NFL Draft. The Highland Springs, Va., native may have just cemented his place with a stunning 40-yard dash time Friday afternoon at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

The 6-foot-7-inch, 364-pound prospect ran the drill in 5.10 seconds, showing off rare speed for an athlete with his frame.

The 20-year-old Becton did not run the fastest 40 time among his peers, but he also outweighs them by at least 40 pounds, making his feat that much more impressive. His run is the third-fastest time by a player weighing at least 340 pounds since 2006, according to ESPN.


Becton, who was the top-ranked Virginia high school offensive tackle in 2017, is Mel Kiper Jr.’s highest-rated at the position, and Daniel Jeremiah’s fifth-best overall prospect entering the 2020 draft.

After his run, Becton was seen walking the Lucas Oil Stadium sideline with ice on his leg because of hamstring tightness.

Hurts in the running

Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts wants to go into the NFL Draft as a quarterback, but should he end up having to switch positions, he has the speed to at least give it a shot.

Hurts posted the second-fastest 40-yard dash time Thursday among quarterbacks at the Combine, completing the drill in 4.59 seconds, barely behind the 4.58 recorded by Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald.

By comparison, only one tight end prospect, Missouri’s Albert Okwuegbunam, managed a faster time at 4.49.

Ruggs misses out

The stars came out at night inside Lucas Oil Stadium, especially Henry Ruggs III, who came up short in his quest to set a record but still clocked the fastest 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine Thursday.

A 4.27-second time in the 40 is nothing to scoff at, but Ruggs had hoped to run faster.

The 5-foot-11-inch, 188-pound speedster from Alabama fell short of the record 4.22-second time that Bengals wide receiver John Ross set during a blazing 2017 run.


‘‘I’m trying to hit the lowest ever,’’ Ruggs said earlier in the week. ‘‘So, 4.22 or lower.’’

Ruggs said he had previously run the 40 in 4.25 seconds and felt he could top that in Indianapolis.

He was initially clocked at 4.28 on his first of two runs but the official time was recorded at 4.27 seconds. His second time was 4.31.

Ruggs did back up his other boast this week, when he said he was the fastest guy at the Scouting Combine.

Quez Watkins of Southern Miss. was the next fastest at 4.35 seconds when the Combine’s on-field workouts and 40-yard dash made their prime time debut.

Ruggs, who is often compared with Tyreek Hill, also had a 42-inch vertical jump, which was tied for second-best among the receivers who later ran routes and caught passes along with the tight ends from the quarterback prospects — excluding projected top overall pick Joe Burrow and a rehabbing Tua Tagovailoa.

Utah State’s Jordan Love, around whom buzz has been building this week, shined during the second QB session after Hurts stood out in the first group. Oregon’s Justin Herbert also impressed.

Other receivers who stood out from an unusually deep group were LSU’s Justin Jefferson, Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb.

Cardinals in Mexico City

The Cardinals will play a regular-season game in Mexico City this year.

The announcement Friday said that additional details, including the date and opponent, would be released later.


The Cardinals were required by the NFL to host a game outside the United States by 2023 after being awarded the hosting rights to the Super Bowl that will be played in February 2023.

The game will be the Cardinals’ second in Mexico City. The franchise played the 49ers in 2005 in the first regular-season NFL game held outside the United States.