Jonathan Martin: 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of 2012 NFL Draft Prospect
If you are blocking Andrew Luck's blind side, you must be doing something right.
That is what Jonathan Martin must have been thinking. The redshirt junior from Stanford and Luck, as well as David DeCastro and possibly Coby Fleener, could all hear their names called Thursday night in the first round of the draft.
Martin is a huge tackle who is ranked by CBSSportsline.com as the third overall tackle prospect coming out this year, and while he has slipped a bit in ranking from the end of the college season, Martin should still hear his name called by the end of the night.
I believe Martin could go anywhere from 10th (Buffalo) until the end of the first round.
Here is a look at some of Martin's biggest strengths and weaknesses that scouts have been poring over and CBSSportsline.com has been discussing for the past few months.
Shuts off Blitz Pressure
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This is a good thing because it means he picks up reads quickly.
Players in the trenches must read and react in a moment's notice.
Martin has been able to do that while playing in the Pac-10/12.
He Does Not Dominate or Sustain Open-Field Blocking
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This might be a problem.
When the running game is moving well, Martin will need to move downfield and block defenders to continue the play.
If he has trouble doing that as the point of attack changes, it could lead to penalties or the play being stopped at that point.
He Has Average Upper-Body Strength
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As a tackle, and the fact he may move to the right side, he needs to be able to bully the defender from the snap.
Upper body strength where the defender is stood up instead of pushed to the ground will open up more holes for the running game.
He will have to hit the weights and work with a conditioning and strength coach.
Has Good Feet and Lateral Agility
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This means he can move across the line and block and move forward when he needs to.
Establishing the run is all about balance and control. Martin must move from side to side and keep his balance. The NFL defender is bigger, stronger and faster than those in college.
Footwork is crucial to success.
Can Take Defenders to the Ground
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In other words, he knows how to pancake block.
The pancake block works for the run so the runner sprints through as the defender is pushed south.
The guards and tackles are responsible for making sure the runner has an open lane to run through.
Pushes the Pile
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If a tackle can move a blocker or defender backward and play through whistle, he is wearing his opponent out. The linemen usually are heavy guys and weight tires them out.
Martin plays at full speed until the play is over. That means there is more rotation of backups coming into the game that may not be able to handle his size and speed.