The San Francisco 49ers have what many consider the top offensive line in the entire NFL consisting of Joe Staley (LT), Mike Iupati (LG), Alex Boone (RG) and Anthony Davis (RT), but the team has been missing a strong center to mold and mesh well with the group. That is until the 49ers decided to grab one of the draft’s best center prospects in USC‘s Marcus Martin in the third round in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Martin, a solid 6-foot-3, 320-pound center, will likely be the team’s new starter this season and should have no troubles locking up the job as there is little to no competition for that starting spot. His versatility is likely something that GM Trent Baalke desired as Martin has experience as both a guard and a center and could become an All-Pro at either position somewhere down the road.
Martin has a very thick base and powerful legs which allow him to get into defenders and work his assignments one way or the other. He plays the game with a passion and knows how to work to the second level and look for the next object to smash into after he rubs off his assignment. He is a solid run blocker, but he will make his money as a great pass protector as he is quite polished in that area.
He does need to work on getting a bit stronger and into better shape overall. He has a very thick base, but his upper body is lacking in strength, which does not allow him to truly get a good push inside on stronger defensive tackles. Due to his size he is limited as an athlete and should look to get into better condition, which is something the 49ers’ coaching staff will surely require as they have in the past with their offensive linemen. He also needs to become much more aggressive, which will come with time and experience, but is something that is surely needed in the ultra-competitive NFC West division.
Look for Martin to start immediately for the 49ers as their first-string center giving them a very good offensive line in front of their young QB.