My name is Tanner Knauth and I am not a professional scout.
But I do love football and think I have a decent eye for talent and an understanding of the talent it takes to succeed in the NFL. Therefore I have decided to post some of my thoughts on players in the upcoming draft.
I will primarily focus on players who I think fit the Cowboys needs, so if this series continues you will see a lot of defensive and offensive linemen as well as a few linebackers and a couple of skill position players. I will also try and focus on lesser known players who will be taken after the first round.
When evaluating a player I look at least two full games where I am only watching one player. I try and take into account what the player is being asked to do within they scheme.
While watching film I will jot down notes of what I see and then will try and put them into an informative format.
I will try to be as transparent as possible when writing about a player letting you what I saw and why I think it helps or hurts a player.
Without further ado, here is my study of Kareem Martin.
Senior Defensive End, University of North Carolina
6'6" 265 lbs
Hometown: Roanoke Rapids, N.C.
Played in 49 games, totaled 19.5 sacks and 45.5 tackles for loss for a production ratio of 1.33. However, his production rose significantly in his senior season. As a true freshman in 2010, Martin started three games and played in eleven. He totaled 1.5 tackles for loss. As a sophomore Martin started all 13 games and recorded four sacks and and seven tackles for loss. Martin earned second team All-ACC honors in his junior year when he tallied four sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. He recorded a tackle for a loss in 10 of 12 games. As a senior he production jumped up to 11 sacks and 20 tackles for loss. He also recorded 14 QB hurries and three forced fumbles and was named first team All-ACC.
(Games Watched: Miami and Cincinnati, 2013)
Martin plays with power. He is listed at 265 but does not look small or slight. There are times where he hits the offensive linemen and the linemen's head snaps back like he is in a car accident. His best pass rush move is the bull rush where his strength allows him to push the blocker into the backfield. When his rush does not get there, he is able to jump up and try to disrupt the pass.
Extremely disruptive in the run game. His strength allows him to push the blocker back and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Martin is very good at setting the edge and turning a play back inside. He is also very good at identifying the pulling guard or trap blocker, engaging and turning the play back inside. Plays very disciplined football, stays at home and maintains gap control.
Martin does not display very good explosion off the line. He does not possess a full repertoire of pass rush moves and has poor hand technique. This causes him to get locked up with blockers at times and miss a few plays, this is most evident in pass rush. He needs to learn how to disengage a blocker in order to make plays on the ball. Although he shows an ability to change direction and can accelerate to make a tackle, he is not overly quick or fast. Will have to rely on strength and technique in the NFL. Rarely is he able to turn the corner on a speed rush. Martin is a very sure tackler, but quick runners will make him miss. Plays hard, but does not always chase plays down field.
Where Does He Fit?
Martin has some potential as a strong side defensive end. He should not be counted on as your primary pass rusher, but with some technique improvements he can be solid in this area (think 4 - 6 sacks per year). Has the ability to be a dominant player in the run game. For the Cowboys, he could be part of a rotation at DE and help the run game early in his career. With improved technique he may develop into a good starter capable of staying on the field all three downs.
Many draft sites have him projected to go somewhere in the third round of the draft.