With the NFL Combine drawing near, it's time for me to roll out another edition of my Oakland Raiders Draft Wishlist.
This offseason is going to be extremely interesting for the Raiders. With a new general manager, new head coach and a completely revamped coaching staff, it's as if the Raiders are an expansion team. It's a new era, but one thing the Raiders are forced to suffer through is the lack of draft picks.
But, fear not! I have done a lot of research to find some diamonds in the rough that the Raiders can pick up with their limited draft picks.
Mike Martin is a name most are unfamiliar with. I admit, I had no idea who he was myself until watching the Senior Bowl. Sure, it's hard to judge someone on just what you see from a week's practice and a game. But if you do watch the Senior Bowl film, you would think you were watching an NFL player in the prime of his career.
Constantly, Martin blew past the best blockers in the nation, beating any man who dared to line up against him. This may be from his background in wrestling, where he learned to use his leverage and his hands more effectively.
Martin has an incredibly wide range of moves he can use to beat blockers. Despite standing at only 6'1", Martin weighs in at 307 pounds of pure muscle. It's been reported that Martin can bench 505 lbs. while squatting 700 lbs. Someone with both a strong upper and lower body that can get penetration is what the Raiders need.
At Michigan, Martin didn't have an overly productive career, but he had a good career nonetheless. Receiving more playing time as a sophomore, Martin has started 29 straight games for Michigan, showing his durability playing as an "undersized" defensive tackle. In his career, Martin had 88 tackles, 17.5 tackles for losses, and 6 sacks.
The other thing I really love about Martin is that he has his head screwed on tightly. While doing some research, I came across his Youtube account where he records "Webisodes" of his life. The beginning of every "Webisode," Martin describes his life where he is graduating early, stays active in the community, developing his entrepreneurial ideas, and, of course, being a family man.
He was also captain of the Wolverines in 2011, something that should be taken into account. A great football player with a good sense of direction and brains is what the Raiders need after a terrible season filled with disciplinary problems and penalties.
However, Martin is not seen as, in my eyes, a guy who can start from day one. He is going to need to sit behind the veterans to develop his raw talent. That is perfectly fine seeing as the Raiders have reportedly paid Richard Seymour his bonus, meaning he will be in Silver and Black next season unless he gets traded.
The way I see it, Martin has the potential to be just like Seymour. While being nowhere near as tall as Big Rich, Martin has the same skill set. Seymour is capable of playing anywhere on the defensive line. Martin can do just the same, even playing the 0-technique at Michigan. Now that's impressive. Who would've thought a 307 pound lineman could play nose tackle and hold his own?
But that's not the only place Martin can excel. He also has experience playing the 3-technique as more of a pass rusher, though he says he feels like he plays better against the run.
Now, this is where things get fun. The Raider's defense is still completely up in the air. 4-3, or 3-4? I believe Martin can play with one, as a 3-technique in the 4-3 and a 5-technique in the 3-4, both of which Richard Seymour would presumably play.
Martin isn't just a guy the Raiders should get to build for the future, but he would be a great choice to come on the field and relieve the aging players we already have. Martin has great upside and if he was to learn under the likes of Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly, he could enjoy a very good career in the NFL.