Marcus Martin, C, USC, (HT: 6'3"; WT: 320 lbs.)
Third Round: 70th Pick
|40-yard dash||10-yd split||Bench||Vert||Broad||3-cone||Shuttle|
- Generally thought of coming into the 2014 NFL draft process as the top center prospect.
- Very large center prospect; an enormous presence on the interior of the USC offensive line.
- Very long arms and great big 10-inch hands.
- Bottom-heavy with a sturdy power-base through the lower body.
- Generally attacks with good pad-level and use of a low center of gravity.
- Hand-fights with violence and bad intentions.
- Comes out of his stance like a bottle rocket and is real trouble for defenders in close spaces.
- Showed excellent leg drive and substantial power in numerous instances on film, sometimes making powerful defensive line prospects like Louis Nix of Notre Dame appear very beatable.
- Is extremely quick helping with center-guard combos then getting to the second level once the defender is turned inside or outside adequately.
- Does a fantastic job sinking his hips into defenders and extending through the upper body with explosion.
- Good feet and above-average lateral agility.
- Uses his length well to keep a natural "feeler" out with his free arm; helps immensely in early recognition of delayed pressure to the uncovered half of his body.
- Plays with an excellent motor.
- Appears to be a tough player who craves physical battles.
- Athleticism comes out clearly in ability to mirror with good agility then use length to keep defenders at bay in pass protection.
- Slides well and uses a shallow post-step to inhibit inside-rush moves.
- Appears to be a candidate to play center or either of the guard positions at the NFL level and, in many ways, looks "plug-and-play"-ready from Day 1.
- Takes bad angles to reach second-level defenders when uncovered and can appear out-of-control en route to open-field assignments.
- Spends too much time on the ground.
- Doesn't always stick well on blocks after initial engagement.
- Does not set properly into pass protection and can occasionally leave himself on an island due to not generating proper depth along with the rest of the line.
- Gives up too much ground versus opposing bull rushes.
- Can drop his eye-level and start looking down and reaching in pass protection which leads to unproductive play when off-balance.
- Can be a "catcher" versus delayed second-level blitzers and occasionally absorbs too much impact, allowing for damaging interior penetration and disruption.
- Doesn't anchor well in pass protection; can get his hips easily turned inside or outside during engagement by strong lateral rush moves to the outer halves of his body.
- Did not participate in tests outside of the bench press at the NFL Scouting Combine due to the rehab process for a minor lower-body injury.
- Did not run the 40-yard dash at the combine but ran two horrible tests at USC pro day, according to Rob Rang of CBS Sports, coming in at 5.52 and 5.36 seconds, which would slot him as the slowest center among participants in Indy.
- Had an extremely disappointing bench press exhibition at the combine, where only 10 offensive linemen logged a lower number of reps than his measly 23.
Personal Notes (via USC Athletic Department)
- He has 20 career starts.
- Martin returned for his third season as a starting offensive lineman as a junior in 2013 and spent the season at center after spending the first two years at guard.
- He is an American studies and ethnicity (African American studies) major at USC.
- His cousin is Oregon junior defensive end Tony Washington.
Marcus Martin will be an "easy take" for NFL teams looking for immediate contributions along the interior of their offensive lines. Martin, in numerous instances through 2013, appeared absolutely ready to take the next step. He is a prospect who is fully justified in foregoing his final year of college eligibility to begin earning money at the sport as a professional.
Martin's combine and pro day tests were disappointing, but the quickness and short-area burst displayed on tape are not attributes that drills like the 40-yard dash and bench press test for. Martin was a stalwart on a USC offensive line unit that faced future NFL contributors on a near week-in, week-out basis. He was efficient and was—overall—an indisputably positive presence.
The NFL team that selects Martin will do so expecting an immediate impact while also bolstering depth along three of its interior line positions.
Draft Projection: Second Round