New York Giants 2012 NFL Draft Profile: Stanford OT Jonathan Martin

By Christopher Gamble

The look at potential draft picks for the New York Giants in the 2012 NFL Draft continues with Stanford OT Jonathan Martin.

Martin played left tackle at Stanford, protecting likely number one pick Andrew Luck’s blindside.  Martin possesses typical height and weight of an NFL lineman, 6-5, 312 pounds with long arms and fairly large hands.  He has excellent speed for a lineman on tape but did not participate in the NFL Combine due to an illness.

In the running game, Martin can use his speed to get downfield and execute secondary blocks but will sometimes lunge at defenders, causing him to miss a block.  His upper body strength is only mediocre and uses his legs to anchor him, something that can’t always be done when executing secondary blocks up field.  However, he can be a very good run blocker at the line, using his legs to drive opponents back and should be able to improve his run blocking going forward, especially if he adds some strength to his upper body.  He plays with a high motor and possesses a mean streak and will play to the whistle.

In pass protection, Martin has quick feet and anchors himself with a wide base.  This enables him to keep himself between the defender and the quarterback.  His hands are only average.  He has a quick punch but needs to land it consistently in order to keep defenders off balance.  While his footwork is very good, he lacks some range in pass protection and will lunge at defenders who can get around him instead of using his full body.  He can wear down late in games when playing against a faster or stronger opponent so he will need to work on his stamina along with his strength if he wants to be a starter at the next level.

Martin is an extremely intelligent football player.  He recognizes blitzers well and doesn’t get frustrated by complex schemes.  He keeps his head on a swivel and will engage multiple defenders.

Although he played left tackle in college, he will probably have to put some time in at right tackle in the NFL before trying to make the transition to the blindside.  He has the talent and drive to be a left tackle in the NFL but right now lacks the range, strength, and stamina to be a starter.  He is a quick learner, however, with an excellent drive to succeed so he might be able to be a left tackle in the NFL sooner rather than later.

With a lack of elite tackles in the draft this year, there is a chance that Martin could fall to the Giants at #32.  The Giants need depth on the offensive line behind David Diehl, Will Beatty, and Sean Locklear.  Martin could step immediately into a tackle rotation while learning the nuances of the pro game and building up his upper body strength with an eye on being a franchise left tackle down the road.  The worst case scenario I see with Martin is he stays at right tackle and only goes on to be a very good one.  Behind Iowa’s Riley Reiff, I believe Martin has the highest upside at the tackle position and his inability to participate in the combine could lead to him falling on some draft boards.

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