Has good tall frame with good arm length. A capable athlete that shows good footwork on the edge to mirror speed. Does a decent job setting up, playing with good knee bend. Can initiate contact on the edge and at times flash a good, hard punch to redirect edge rusher. Can win in a short-area and flashes some ability to lock on in pass protection. Doesn't get overextended when delivering his punch. Has some pop as a run blocker and does a nice job getting the seal on the edge. Fires off the ball in short-yardage and flashes leg drive to have potential as a drive blocker. Gets position on the edge and can make the kick-out block. Is able to get his hands inside and get some push as a run blocker. Shows enough athleticism and fluidity when blocking in space and is effective pulling or blocking downfield on the second level. Shows ability to adjust in space and square up the linebacker on the second level. Plays with a good mean streak and does a good job consistently finishing his blocks.
Doesn't always play balanced on the edge when trying to set up and deliver his punch, especially when facing speed. Will lose his balance and have difficulty adjusting to the inside counter move. Will let the defender get into him and jolt him off the snap to give ground to the bull rush. Will whiff on his punch at times and struggles to lock on when he does hit it. Tends to bend his waist a bit too much as a run blocker and limits his push. Will take a false step there and doesn't do great when blocking straight-ahead. Struggles to lock on as a run blocker and thus can't maintain his blocks. Needs to do a better job getting leverage when blocking laterally. Needs to do a better job locating moving targets when blocking on the second level and inconsistent hitting his assignments there. Can be slow to release when pulling or blocking on the move.
Martin is a solid left tackle that protected Andrew Luck's blindside. His problem is that he doesn't wow you as a pass protector, with good but not great tools there. And he is nothing special as a run blocker, that is effective in Stanford's run-heavy attack but rarely makes the impact blocks. In the end, he's just a good enough left tackle prospect that didn't show a ton of improvement from his sophomore to junior year. Another year at Stanford could have rounded out his game and made him a much more consistent player.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/17) at Arizona: Downfield: 0/1; Pull: 0/3; 2 penalties (false start, clipping)
(10/8) vs. Colorado: 1 QB Hit; Downfield: 1/3; Cut: 0/1; Screen: 1/1; 1 penalty (personal foul)
(11/12) vs. Oregon: 1.5 sacks, 1 pressure; Downfield: 2/3
(11/26) vs. Notre Dame: Downfield: 0/1
(1/2) vs. Oklahoma St: Downfield: 1/3
2011: 13/13, left tackle
2010: 13/13, left tackle
2009: 13/11, left tackle
Martin reminds me a bit of Derek Sherrod, in that he has the tools to develop as a left tackle, but like Sherrod probably isn't a good candidate to come in right away and be an effective starter. He's probably better served sitting for a year and learning, using that time to add strength and polish his technique. And then he can be in a position where he could take over in his second year or at least challenge for a job. The thing that hurts Martin is that if he doesn't make it as a left tackle, then he'll be hard-pressed to make it as anything. He's a competent run blocker, but not quite good enough that you want him being your right tackle. If he could add a bit more muscle, he could work there. But he'll never be an overwhelming guy, just a guy good enough to get the job done. I do think he has the potential to get better because unlike many similar prospects, he plays with good mean streak. But you do wonder that if he was well-coached at Stanford, how much upside he has for the next level. I do think there is some potential that he winds up another Gosder Cherilus, who at his best has just been a below average starting tackle. The best you're hoping for with Martin is that he's a guy that is capable of getting the job done, but he'll never be an elite blocker, and probably will need a good guard playing beside him to really maximize his abilities. I think he'll make a capable backup that could potentially play on either side of the line. But if he moves to the right side, it will have more to do with him not being good enough to play on the left rather than him projecting better to that side. If he's brought along slowly, I think he can develop. But if some team desperate for a left tackle throws him to the wolves early on, I don't think he's going to work and he'll be a guy that is dumped by the end of his rookie contact and similar to players like Alex Barron, Khalif Barnes, and Tony Ugoh may be hard-pressed to become more than a journeyman backup you bring into compete for a spot, but not fully trust if he actually wins it.
Martin can work in Atlanta, because he can at least compete for the starting spot as a rookie, but probably would not win it. But if the Falcons could make due with Sam Baker, Svitek, or another for 2012, then Martin could get the time he needs to develop. Then he could again compete for the job in 2013, and potentially win it. He'll never be a great left tackle, but he can be decent thanks in part to Matt Ryan's quick trigger similar to how Jermon Bushrod works in New Orleans. He'll probably be one of those guys that the team is constantly on the lookout for an upgrade, but in terms of bridging the gap to the next potential bookend tackle, he could work.
Because the potential Martin plays, he has enough ability to merit being taken at the end of the second round. But not before that because he's not likely to contribute early on and lacks long-term upside. Instead, he's much better value in the early part of the third round.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Pass Blocking: 6.0
Run Blocking: 5.5
Mean Streak: 7.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.