Perhaps no other offensive tackle prospect in this year’s draft (or even the past several drafts) has had the spotlight on them more so than Jonathan Martin. As the protector of Andrew Luck’s blindside, he was prone to scrutiny had he allowed any defenders to hurt the quarterback prodigy. Martin handled this pressure incredibly well both on and off the field and scouts love his football intelligence and willingness to work hard. Martin’s physical attributes have been and will be the things that grab people’s attention heading into the draft.
Since starting as a redshirt freshman Martin has consistently entered each season with added strength and improved technique. He is coachable and has a true desire to be the best. Overall, Martin should be one of the top offensive tackles taken in April’s draft because of his natural physical and athletic attributes as well as his intangibles.
D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Jets
|PROJ. DRAFT POSITION
No significant injuries
Team allowed just 6 sacks in 2010
Martin has been a starter and protected Andrew Luck’s blindside since his redshirt freshman season at Stanford. He has been extremely consistent throughout his career and has shown steady improvement each year. He is one of the leaders along a very talented offensive line and is well respected by his teammates and coaches. Coaches have talked about how much of a quality person he is in the locker room and the great attitude he brings to the team.
Martin brings a work ethic that seemed to be infectious across Stanford’s offensive line and has the on field attitude you like in your tackle. He also brings a special toughness and has played well through some minor injuries. His teammates say he has a true desire to be the best at his position. As the blindside protector of the possible first overall draftpick, Martin did an exceptional job of handling the pressure and performing at a dominant level.
Martin is an excellent athlete for the offensive tackle position. He moves extremely well for his length and size and does a great job of mirroring defenders. He is long and understands how to use his length to sustain blocks and control defenders. He must become more consistent in his body control and coordination. While he displays very good coordination when redirecting he has a tendency to lose balance if asked to redirect when he’s engaged in blitz situations. Martin shows the ability to bend in his hips and can sink into his stance. He is a quick twitch athlete who has the ability to engage defenders on every level and looks natural when running.
He does not show heavy feet like many maulers of Martin’s type. His body type is ideal, with long arms and a strong core but he may need to add more bulk in his lower half to anchor on the next level. He has the frame to add another 10-15 pounds which should help him hold the edge against the Mario Williams’ and Jared Allens of the NFL.
Martin is particularly special as an inline run blocker. He explodes out of his stance and into the pads of defensive linemen sustaining good leverage that allows him to maximize his leg drive and push defenders backwards. He does not have a jarring initial punch but his upper body is strong enough to neutralize defenders at the point and turn their shoulders. Martin plays with a wide base and can provide necessary surge in the run game. He is not overly adept at flatbacking guys but when he is engaged on a player its usually game over for them, as they have difficulty shedding through Martin’s grasp.
In pass protection, Martin flashes signs of dominance but this facet takes a back seat to his run blocking ability. While he shows ideal athleticism in pass protection, he can get caught playing too upright and stronger ends can expose his lack of a powerful base. Against USC’s Nick Perry, Martin was too often caught by surprise by his speed/power combination and he showed that he could be pushed into the pocket. He displays naturally flexible hips so adjusting his leverage in pass pro is coachable.
Jonathan slides with ease and does not cross his feet, even when he gets beat. He can quickly redirect and shows an explosive first step. When he gets beat on the outside it is usually because he does not kick fast enough off the snap and the defender gets a step on him. He struggles to recover and ends up reaching off balance. Still, he shows the foot quickness and athleticism to recover if he is caught reaching and can redirect if needed. When Martin is engaged he can easily adjust his path and continue upfield to pick up second level blockers. He moves fluidly through traffic at the second level and has the ability to sink his weight and break down to pick up linebackers in the open field.
Anchoring in pass protection is not a glaring weakness but certainly one that can be exposed by elite defenders. Part of the problem is the lack of bulk in his base and the other part of the problem is that he tends to stop his feet when seriously challenged by bull rushers. He must learn to keep his base and chop his feet consistently against bigger DL.
Martin is a cerebral player who understands assignments and where pressure is coming from. Against faster more complex defenses he takes a bit longer to adjust but he shows the ability to learn from trends and his own mistakes. He understands positioning and consistently takes excellent angles to the defender. You really see the feel he has for the run game as he can sense how long to hold onto his initial block before retreating to the next level.
Although he can struggle with power rushers, he does a good job of using his length to keep them out of the pocket and limiting their palette of moves. He uses his hands well but he could be quicker and show more purpose with his placement. Overall, he has shown enough throughout his career to suggest that he can master his technique, especially with his capacity to learn and apply what he is coached on.
Perhaps no other offensive tackle prospect in this year’s draft (or even the past several drafts) has had the spotlight on them more so than Jonathan Martin. As the protector of Andrew Luck’s blindside, he was prone to scrutiny had he allowed any defenders to hurt the quarterback prodigy. Martin handled this pressure incredibly well both on and off the field and scouts love his football intelligence and willingness to work hard. Martin’s physical attributes have been and will be the things that grab people’s attention heading into the draft. He is a natural athlete who has grown well into his size and has very few limitations from an athleticism standpoint. He is not quite at the elite level of a Walter Jones or a Joe Thomas in terms of athletic ability but he has the long arms and physical play you want in your anchor.
The real impact he will have will be in the run game where he uses his explosive first step and strong upper body to move defenders and win the position battle every time. He drives his feet through the whistle and does a fine job of committing to angles that will surge defenders outside the gaps. There was some judgement going into the season that Martin lacked the mean streak on the field but he put that to rest early and often throughout the season as he consistently finished his blocks (and sometimes more). Martin’s prototype size and athleticism for the position will be the most appealing part for NFL GM’s and he should test well at the combine, but they should also be impressed by his maturity and leadership ability. Since starting as a redshirt freshman Martin has consistently entered each season with added strength and improved technique. He is coachable and has a true desire to be the best. Overall, Martin should be one of the top offensive tackles taken in April’s draft because of his natural physical and athletic attributes as well as his intangibles.