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A two-year starter at Stanford, Blake Martinez looks the part as an athletic, strong linebacker. He’s able to play both inside and outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme and is comfortable playing one of the inside spots in a 3-4 defense.
A tough, mean linebacker prospect, Martinez balances his aggression with awareness and vision. He’s rarely fooled by misdirection and has active, confident eyes. Martinez plays disciplined ball without mental errors.
A strong player when asked to anchor or step up to stack and shed blockers, Martinez is able to keep his distance from pulling offensive linemen or skill-position players at the point of attack. He’s quick enough to stop and start and run to chase the ball outside his box.
Martinez comes to the NFL with experience in drop coverage, having been asked to play in the box and out in the flats.
What you see is what you get with Martinez. An average player in terms of straight-line speed, Martinez can be beat to the corner and must win with pursuit angles down the sideline.
An average tackler when asked to break down and thud a ball-carrier, Martinez is susceptible to stiff arms and spin moves, as well as an old-fashioned helmet in his chest. With a frame that’s seemingly maxed out, Martinez doesn’t bring much upside to the table.
A lack of explosiveness limits Martinez as a playmaker. He can’t hang deep in coverage and is limited to a zone-coverage linebacker only because of his poor long speed. Martinez most likely projects as a two-down player in the NFL, as he doesn’t offer much as a pass-rusher or cover man.
Weight: 237 lbs.
40 Time: 4.71s
Short Shuttle: 4.20s
PRO COMPARISON: Jonathan Freeny, New England Patriots
FINAL GRADE: 5.60/9.00 (Round 5—Backup Caliber)