Kareem Martin NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Cardinals DE

Darren PageFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2014

North Carolina defensive end Kareem Martin (95) in action in an NCAA football game between Pittsburgh and North Carolina, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina (6’5⅞”, 272 lbs.)

Arizona Cardinals

Third Round: 84th Pick 

NFL Comparison: Michael Bennett, DE, Seattle Seahawks

Combine Weigh-In
Combine Workout
40-yd dash10-yd splitVertBroad3-ConeBench
4.721.5335 1/2"10'9"7.2022


  • 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.
Collegiate Statistics
2010North Carolina161.5001
2011North Carolina407406
2012North Carolina4015.5413
2013North Carolina7221.511.533

Personal Notes

  • 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.

Ratings Chart

Graph made at nces.com.


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


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