The Miami Dolphins had a big void to fill after left tackle Jake Long departed via free agency. The four-time Pro Bowl selection signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the St. Louis Rams in the offseason. Miami named Jonathan Martin as their new left tackle with the hope that the youngster can handle the job well.
The second round draft selection was moved from right to left tackle after the Dolphins acquired right tackle Tyson Clabo in free agency. Miami believes Martin will handle himself well while covering quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s blindside. What is even better is that Martin knows he can live up to the high expectations.
“I’m excited. It’s a position I want to play, obviously,” Martin said, according to MiamiDolphins.com. “I’m excited for the challenge, I’m excited for the opportunity so I’m going to try to make the most of it during these OTAs and do whatever I can to help this team win.”
It is critical that the 23-year-old take advantage of every rep he gets during OTAs and training camp. Now is the time for him to make mistakes and learn from them because at least the coaches expect him to have a little bit of a learning curve. The last thing the Dolphins or he needs is to falter once the 2013 NFL regular season rolls around in September.
The good news is that Martin has plenty of experience playing left tackle. In fact, he protected Andrew Luck’s blindside while playing for Stanford Cardinal. Not to mention, he was a two-time All-American and a two-time First-team All-Pac-12 at the position.
Obviously, the Dolphins have plenty of reason to believe Martin can excel at the position. It will now be up to him to prove that he is exactly what Miami was looking for when the organization drafted him with the No. 42 overall pick in 2012.