New Orleans Saints: Marcus Martin Wouldn't Be Worst First-Round Pick

By Andrew Schuster
marcus martin nfl draft
Kirby Lee- USA Today Sports

As of late, the New Orleans Saints have expressed a deep interest in USC center Marcus Martin. That comes as no surprise, as the Black and Gold are in desperate need of talent at that position after the departure of Brian de la Puente. Martin is projected as a second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but finding protection for Drew Brees is a top priority this weekend for Sean Payton and company.

I feel that the Saints should instead pursue a playmaker in the first round, but it appears an invite was extended Martin’s way to join top prospects at Radio City Music Hall for this weekend’s draft.  The news on the invitation all came after New Orleans mentioned their admiration for Southern Cal’s offensive lineman.

GM Mickey Loomis‘ ability to find late-round bargains could be used for de la Puente’s replacement (ArkansasTravis Swanson in the third or Florida State‘s Bryan Stork in the sixth to name a couple). The Saints’ second pick could even be used to snatch up Colorado State‘s Weston Richburg. Those are just a few options New Orleans may want to weigh.

Overall, Marcus Martin is the top rated center in this year’s class, so grabbing him at No. 27 overall makes perfect sense if protecting their Pro Bowl quarterback is the team’s first concern. At 6-foot-3, 320-pounds, Martin’s big-bodied thickness is ideal for the center spot. He has the athleticism and experience to excel at the next level. USC’s team captain was a three-year starter where he played his first two seasons at the left guard position before making the switch to the middle in 2013. Martin anchors himself well in pass protection, which is critical for the Saints’ high-powered offense.

The more comfort for Brees , the higher the production. Targeting a safeguard for the middle is certainly a must this weekend. Will Commissioner Roger Goodell be calling on Martin when the New Orleans Saints are on the clock tomorrow evening

Andrew Schuster is a New Orleans Saints writer at Rant Sports. Follow him @ShootsMcGavin on Twitter and like him on Facebook.

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