Should Baltimore Ravens draft Illinois Safety Jartavius Martin

Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens will be looking for secondary help in the NFL draft. One name they will look at is Illinois safety Jartavis "Quan" Martin. Quan Martin is an interesting prospect who has gained attention recently. What does he bring to the NFL, and when would the Ravens need to show interest?

NFL Draft Profile: Quan Martin, Safety, Illinois

Quan Martin is a five-year starter for the Illini. As a freshman in 2018, he was getting work as an outside cornerback. He played outside as a sophomore as well but started to move to safety. His junior year was 2020, so he did not play much but moved to safety.

The last two years were more of a versatile player. He had 166 snaps in the box, 197 snaps as a deep-field safety, and then 924 snaps in the slot. Last season he had his best year as a run defender with a career-low in missed tackles, as well as a high career his passed broken up.

His 2022 impressed, and then he went to the NFL combine and put his name on the map for everyone to see. Below you can see his performance.

He had pretty normal size, but the athletic traits pop off the charts. The speed is not elite, but the 10-yard split was. That shows an explosive athlete and elite jump numbers match.

So, he is coming off his best year, he is versatile, and athletic, what else does he show on tape?

How Quan Martin translates to the NFL

The versatility used to be an issue, but now it is a needed skill set in any secondary. One of the best traits Martin possesses is lining up in the slot, then dropping back as a deep field safety. It allowed Illinois to disguise coverages, and all NFL teams want a player who can do that.

In the slot, he is never afraid to stick his head in the run game and make his presence known. Still, while he is good at run defense, and dropping into zones from the slot, he does get lost against quicker slot cornerbacks in man coverage when asked to cross the field.

He may project best as a free safety in the NFL who can defend both sidelines and also crash downhill and defend the run. Still, Illinois also liked moving him around because he can get jumpy on the back end at times. For now, his role should project to a third safety who could play slot or free safety snaps with run defense abilities and good ball skills, despite up-and-down coverage.

NFL Comparison for Quan Martin

The best NFL comparison for Jartavius Martin is Nick Scott. Scott just signed to be the Cincinnati Bengals' replacement at free safety for Jessie Bates. You can see how they compare below. They both brought athleticism from the Big 10.

Scott started off as a slot who could move to safety and then eventually was getting real work as the Rams' starting safety. Now, the Bengals are relying on him to replace a big name in their defense. That is the type of upside that could be found in Martin. First, he will be a helpful player who can hang in different roles, but he has the upside to be a free safety who can defend center field.

Should Baltimore Ravens draft Quan Martin

Quan Martin would be a good fit for the Ravens at the right price. They are losing their starting slot from last year because Kyle Hamilton is going from that position to the starting strong safety. They liked having a safety there because he could drop into the deep field, and they could use his skill set to their advantage.

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Quan Martin brings a different skill set than Hamilton and Chuck Clark, but they could still use him as a third safety, and a slot who has some size.