Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina (6’5⅞”, 272 lbs.)
Third Round: 84th Pick
NFL Comparison: Michael Bennett, DE, Seattle Seahawks
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- Large-framed with height/weight/speed potential.
- Significant length at 34.75 inch arms.
- Sneaky foot quickness when it comes to changing directions.
- Adequate flexibility for his pass-rushing style.
- Highly productive with yearly statistical improvement.
- Sufficient instincts and play-recognition ability.
- Violent and heavy hands to deliver the blow to blockers and compromise their balance.
- Generates power from lower body to bull rush with effectiveness.
- Experienced in stunts and twists; operates them with efficiency.
- Has flashed an effective spin move after pass-blockers overextend.
- Gets hands up to tip passes at a high rate.
- Rushes with awareness to maintain gaps and not give QB lanes from the pocket.
- Bullish-rusher when he comes off the ball well and has momentum.
- Makes frequent plays in the backfield to disrupt running plays.
- Utilizes upper-body strength to split gaps with ease.
- Can get underneath the pads of blockers on initial contact to stand them up at the line of scrimmage, especially from interior positions.
- Difficult to keep hands on him to sustain run blocks.
- Frequently knocks back blockers to disrupt run plays to the perimeter.
- Sufficient motor to pursue, does make plays from the backside.
- Delivers powerful tackles when getting to ball-carriers or the quarterback.
- Lots of experience as a starting defensive end in a BCS conference.
- Just as effective, if not more so, when playing from variety of alignments or from a two-point stance.
- Culprit of schematic breakdowns on occasion; freelanced too often.
- Little burst from static positions; inconsistent coming off the ball.
- Heavy feet to work laterally down the line of scrimmage; likes to turn shoulders and pursue.
- Not a technician when it comes to hand usage as a rusher; plays off instincts alone.
- Rushes with too much finesse for stretches instead of playing to strengths.
- Struggles to disengage after bull rushes to play mobile quarterbacks.
- Inconsistent usage of size and strength; doesn’t take advantage of matchups with backs or tight ends.
- Will lose ground trying to anchor a double-team due to high pad level and little knee bend.
- Lets his pads get too high at the line of scrimmage against run blocks when trying to shed.
- Can’t get himself out of trouble when losing gap discipline; gets washed from plays if he takes a bad step.
- Doesn’t sink hips and play under control in space; leads to missed tackles.
- Motor can run a bit cold at times.
- A 3-star prospect as a recruit; ranked 59th among defensive ends according to ESPN.
- Started three games as a true freshmen and every game from sophomore to senior seasons.
Kareem Martin didn’t exactly live up to expectations during his senior season. His cold stretches are a big reason why. When Martin was on his game, he was absolutely unblockable and destroyed offensive game plans. He was most effective when used in a variety of ways in a single game, not kept in a traditional end role. Martin will probably never be a full-time stand-up rusher, but he thrived moving around pre-snap and rushing from an up position. The unteachable aspects of his game should get him drafted by the end of Day 2. The versatility of his skills are a bonus.
Draft Projection: 2nd-3rd Round