Somebody pinch me because i must be dreaming, April has come at last! Are You guys as excited as I am?
For the next few weeks leading up to draft day I am going to breakdown a player a day that I believe the Ravens should/will target. Today #2 on my list is Stanford OT, Jonathan Martin.
Jonathan Martin is widely considered to be the 3rd best OT in this years draft(behind Matt Kalil and Riley Reiff). Martin is NOT a day one starter at LT, but given a year to develope he could be a legitimate Probowl caliber LT in the NFL.
What He Does Well
Martin is an Elite Run blocker. He makes great blocks on single level run plays and he is even better at shedding defenders to get to the second level. He is very athletic and has no problem getting out into space as a lead blocker on stretch plays. His athleticism would make him a perfect fit in the Ravens new Zone running scheme. Martin has excellent size standing 6’6″ 315 lbs..
I watched 2 tapes of Martin, 2010 against Arizona and 2011 against Oklahoma St(Fiesta Bowl). In the first tape(Arizona) he was matched up one on one against Brooks Reed(2011 2nd round pick by the Houston Texans) on nearly every play. Martin had maybe his worst game at Stanford that day and for the first half was pushed around by Reed on most snaps. on the second tape he played against a multitude of Oklahoma St pass rushers, as a group they more or less were equal to Reed and Martin had maybe his best game at Stanford. The improvement between the two years was staggering. Martin is one of the most intelligent players in the draft and has only just recently really grown into his body. he is going to struggle in his first year or so, but down the line he will be an Elite player.
Where He Needs Improvement
Martin still struggles against brute force rushers. he is quick enough to deal with speed players but any rusher with excellent upper body strength and leverage has been a problem for Martin. Martin has all the tools to fix this problem, he is plenty Strong and has excellent footwork but seems to get to caught up in his head at times and loose track of a play. When playing strong bull rushers he has a tendency to overcompensate towards the outside to try and prevent getting beat, smart rushers have repeatedly used this against him to cut back to the inside when the QB(Andrew Luck) tries to step up in the pocket which has resulted in bad throws or sacks and QB hits. Martin has a habit of Getting lost against the zone blitz, in fairness it is almost never used in college football and he has probably only seen it a handful of times in his entire career, but still it is worth noting considering the Ravens have to play the Steelers twice a year.
How I See It
The first play you can see Martin making a nice block at the top of the screen. the defender attempts to exploit Martins weakness against bull rushes and cut back to the inside but Martin uses his superior footwork to buy Luck time to make a completion.
at the 32 second mark Martin throw an excellent block, Martin drops about a yard deep to pass protect and then plants himself infront of his defender, the Right side of the OL breaks down but Martin and Decastro both held their side down on the left.
Fast forward to the 2:30 mark and you can see Martin really unsure of his assignment as he just passes of a rusher to David Decastro and watches as Decastro blocks him for a couple seconds. a couple would be rushers dropped into coverage and Martin had no clue where he was blocking.
at the 4:35 mark you can see a play that the Ravens ran about a million times last season. Martin is going to pull a quick edge chip and then break off an immediately pursue a second level block. his ability to shed a defender and get to the next level to block will be key to his development as a pro and it is in full force on this play, he ends up not having a second level player to block but not through fault of his own and the play results in a big run off the left side.
Martin isnt likely to last 29 picks, in fact im almost sure he wont. He could, however, fall within striking distance for the Ravens to go up and get him. The Ravens front office has no problem moving up or down in the draft if the see a player they want. Martin Has a good skill set and will only get better as he grows into the player he will be for the next decade. the quickness with which he adapts will be the key to his NFL career.
Pro Player Comparison: Matt Light, LT, Patriots