So far, Martin's proven himself up for the task. Pac-10 coaches voted him to their honorable-mention list in his redshirt freshman 2009 season after he made 11 starts at left tackle. The following year, he earned first-team all-conference accolades while leading a stout offensive line that allowed just six sacks all year and averaged 214 yards per game on the ground.
While Martin may not prove to be an elite athlete during post-season workouts for scouts, there's little doubt he has the ability to stay on the left side at the next level. Improvements in his upper-body strength and consistency sustaining blocks this fall could see him join his bally-hooed quarterback teammate in the top half of the first round in this year's draft, if he decides to declare.
Pass Blocking: Athletic left tackle with natural bend, lateral agility and good foot quickness. Plays with a wide base to stand up against a strong punch and anchor against bull rushes, though stronger rushers do get under his pads when he is not aggressive with his punch and hand placement. Works to get his man to the ground whenever they are trying to get low around the corner. Gives good effort to help his guard and pick up late inside blitzers when uncovered. Can reset his hands and move laterally to mirror defenders, but occasionally stops his feet and reaches, allowing defenders to get around him with hands and quickness.
Run Blocking: Positional blocker with good feet and lateral agility to wall off defensive ends. Keeps on his block until the whistle, sometimes after. Pushes the pile on zone plays to give ballcarriers cutback lanes. Moves to strong-side tight end on occasion to seal the edge on run plays. Has only average strength to move defenders in the trenches, stronger players win leverage battles to stymie him or get some push back. Does not latch onto targets as he could with stronger hands, allowing them to shed and make a play on the ball.
Pulling/Trapping: Does not trap inside often, but pulls around the tight end as a lead blocker on some run plays. Lacks foot speed and consistency in sustaining to be special as a move blocker, though his effort to reach and cut defenders in space is good.
Initial Quickness: Very good quickness off the line as a run blocker and in pass protection. Anticipates the snap as well as any college tackle, gets into his pass set quickly and move out of his stance very well when pulling out in front of run plays.
DownField: Owns only adequate straight-line speed for the position, but initial quickness and agility make him able of making initial open field blocks on outside runs and screens. Does not dominate or sustain open-field blocks regularly due to a lack of foot quickness (leading to overextending to reach targets) and average upper-body strength.
Intangibles: Above-average football and general intelligence, but plays with a nasty streak that makes defenders know he can handle himself. Solid character and work ethic."
- Possesses an athletic looking frame with solid length for the position.
- Showcases natural bend and flexibility when asked to sit into his stance.
- Can keep his base under him and knees bend initially on his kick slide.
- Does a nice job initially maintaining proper balance with his footwork when trying to reach speed off the edge and set.
- Showcases natural range to the corner. Exhibits a good first step and the ability to reach quick-twitch pass rushers.
- Looks natural when asked to quick set. Keeps his base down, hands up and demonstrates natural foot quickness and change of direction skills when asked to mirror in space.
- Exhibits the body control and recovery ability needed to quickly collect himself through contact after he gets overwhelmed at the point.
- Possesses the kind of natural bend and length to gain leverage vs. the bull rush.
- Displayed more of a mean streak to his game in 2011, doing a better job staying engaged and finishing blocks in the run game.
- Works hard through contact to try to create an eventual push as an angle guy.
- Does a nice job staying low off the ball when asked to get around on reach blocks and seal. Doesn’t waste much motion and can get around opposing linemen quickly.
- Exhibits good short area quickness when working in tandem on a combination block and then quickly reaching a defender off his frame at the second level.
- Has experience getting around the edge and pulling into the second level. Exhibits average range in space.
- Understands angles well in the run game. Is coordinated, gets his feet around when looking to set the edge and can seal.
- Has anchored the Stanford offensive line the past three years and handled the pressure well of protecting the blindside QB Andrew Luck during that time.
What I don’t like…
- Isn’t a real physical kid and doesn’t possess the natural girth through the base/hips to get that much stronger in the lower half.
- Tends to pop upright into contact and doesn’t stay real compact with his footwork.
- Isn’t a natural puncher, struggled to uncoil a quick, strong jab and gain inside leverage.
- Isn’t real heavy handed through contact and has a tough time sticking once he gets his hands on defenders. Too often his hands are outside the defenders chest plate.
- Will get overextended into his punch and stop moving his feet, allowing quicker pass rusher to slip him on contact and work the edge.
- Has a tendency to give up a soft corner in pass protection too often because of lacking explosive/power elements to his game.
- Possesses solid recovery ability (not great), but lacks the type of natural power to consistently stick to defenders once they gain a step and simply push them past the play.
- Has a tendency to get upright as an angle blocker in the run game as well and has a tough time gaining leverage.
- Lacks ideal natural power on contact, works hard and eventually can begin to get a push. However, will struggle with balance and ends up on the ground too often as an in-line guy.
- Doesn’t display the type of “plus” range and body control his frame would indicate when asked to block in space.
Impression: He’s got the NFL size, length and overall athletic skill set. However, he’s not a natural anchor player and doesn’t strike me as a guy who is ever going to be real physical at the next level. He can mirror in space, but struggles to stick through contact and isn’t real heavy handed. Looks like a finesse tackle who will get over drafted because of athletic talent, but is going to have a hard time keeping the edge clean at the next level."
Run Blocking: Has a little mean streak to him in the run game. Stays low off the ball and reach blocks as well as any tackle in this draft. Good football IQ as he understands angles and can set the edge. Good short area quickness on combo blocks and can get to the second level quickly. One negative is that he is on the ground a lot in the run game which makes me believe he struggles with balance on contact.
Technique: The only problem I have with Martin from a technique standpoint is that he doesn’t use his hands well. He loses defenders too often and his hands get to the outside way too much. It could become a problem in the NFL as officials will be eyeing it more often. I like his footwork for the most part and he exhibits a solid base.
Athleticism/Strength: Solid athlete with good flexibility and bend for a guy that’s 6’6. His feet and hands are coordinated and he gets to second level quickly. He’s not as strong as I originally thought. He’s a little thin in the lower body and will have to work on strengthening that.
Bottom Line: I’m not as high on Martin as most and think he’ll be overdrafted in the April. He’s got all the physical tools but I don’t see him as a natural left tackle. His lack of physicality strikes me as concerning as he didn’t stand out as much as I would like from a guy being talked about as a high first-rounder.
Draft Projection: Top 20."
Bold Statement: Martin has the capability to be a top 10 pick and the first offensive tackle off the board.
Games Viewed: Washington '10, Cal'10, Oregon St. '10
- Martin is a fluid athlete with a nice natural bend
- He uses his hands well by extending them into the defender
- There is a nastiness to Martin's game as he works to the whistle and finishes off blocks
- Martin fires off the ball and has the quickness to reach both the sideline and 2nd level
- He takes short and balanced steps in both his kick slide and while engaged
- His use of angles allow him to protect the edge against speed rushers
- Martin has a good powerful lower half that allows him to generate a good push off the ball
- His hustle shows as he works hard down the field often helping spring long runs
- Martin's weight distribution and strong base help him anchor upon contact
- He has good awareness and knows when to peel off his original target
- I have some concerns with his ability to effectively change direction as he was beaten inside on several plays
- He has a tendency to get duck arms which is a wasted motion and allows rushers to get into his body
- Martin has quick feet but they are far from elite. This is something I will keep an eye on throughout the season
- At times, Martin hesitated out of his stance which impacted his ability to protect the edge."
More quick than fast with light feet as well as good balance, agility and body control; pops out of his stance and does a great job sealing off the edge; also has long arms and a solid punch; decent run blocker who keeps pads low and maintains leverage;
Still not necessarily a great athlete and doesn’t change direction all that well and may not have the elite foot speed to protect the edge against speed rushers at the next level."
Possesses great footwork that allows him to block the outside edge or block down on a defense tackle, even if he's in a two-point position... Good shuffle footwork to keep himself in front of the defender... Also, uses his hands well while pass blocking to keep defender at arm's length...
Has a very methodical approach towards blocking the edge, never seems to be out of control... Solid run blocker, uses his feet to drive him forward... Always churning his legs, controls his defender by positioning his body at the right angle... Stays on his block in both the pass and run game, can block from both the two and three point stance...
Has very good pad level as a blocker and uses it to stay lower than the defender, which gives him quite an advantage... Should be able to go into the NFL and fill whichever role a team needs him to.
Negatives -- Has a small tendency to not be aware of when the pocket shifts forward, so often times the defender will disengage and move up field to the quarterback... He doesn't push the pass rusher as much as he stays in his way using great footwork... If he gets beat, chances are he was overwhelmed to the inside in either the pass or run game...
Not an overwhelmingly big player for a tackle, but makes up for it with a very quick first step... Concerned about how well he would handle a stronger outside rusher."
As a pass protector, there is room for improvement. Sometimes relies too much on quickness to get him into position. His footwork will need to be cleaned up. Bull rushers can catch him off-balance and will have to do a better job of keeping his balance.
Improving his knee-bend while absorbing contact could immediately improve how he takes on power moves. His athleticism, and the upside that comes from it, should benefit him in the NFL as teams will feel they can improve his few technical deficiencies."