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Cowboys Draft 2014: Scouting Kareem Martin

Because there has been such a high correlation in recent years between the top collegians invited to Valley Ranch for pre-draft visits and who the Cowboys end up drafting, its important to know as much as possible about these players. As a service to you BTB is providing a series of detailed scouting reports on each of these targets. Today the series continues with our look at North Carolina Edge Rusher, Kareem Martin.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Kareem Martin

Position: Edge Rusher

School: North Carolina

Height: 6’ 6"

Weight: 272 LBs

Games Studied: Miami, Cincinnati, Boston College

Measurables vs others at his position:

Note: This spider graph provides a visual representation of a players’ measurable traits, and combine results.  The filled in area of the chart, as well as the number in the light grey circle represents the percentile among the player's peers by position.  A score of 85 here represents that out of every 100 players at his position, the player has a better result in that test than 85 of those 100.

Pass Game:

Martin played every position on the defensive line at North Carolina, playing DE primarily on early downs, and moving inside to rush in the nickel. He’s an intriguing player when it comes to the pass rush, because he’s far from a finished product, but you can see the potential he has as a power rusher who possesses the ability to get around the corner as well.

His best trait as a rusher is his power. His measurables (broad Jump, & 10 yd split specifically), show an explosive athlete, and while his tape doesn’t show elite explosion, you can see flashes of this at times. Many times when he plays inside he is part of a twist stunt with a smaller speed rusher who loops inside him as he occupies both blockers and he is very effective in this role, while still holding his responsibility as the contain man on the rush. He has also shown the ability to split that double-team and put quick pressure on the QB through the B gap.

I was 2 ½ games through my study on Martin before I saw him really have a chance to align wide, and pin his ears back on a nickel rush, but when he did there was some serious flash. His ability to convert speed into power and get into the chest of the OT and walk him back into the QB’s was very impressive. On two occasions in the 3rd quarter of the game against Boston College he got the opportunity to rush from this wide lane and got two pressures. One with speed around the edge, and one with a bull rush that put the OT on top of the QB in a hurry resulting in a sack fumble, which Martin was able to recover himself.

He is a very aware player in his rush, as he doesn’t let screens slip by him, and he is quick to reverse his direction and get into quick pursuit from behind on a QB trying to escape through the front door.

Run Game:

Martin is a truly advanced run defender at the DE spot. He holds up extremely well at the point, and rarely gives ground even when doubled on a combination block. He is a very productive player in this area finishing the season with 20 TFLs and 78 total tackles. You see physical traits exhibit themselves in his run defense that rarely show up in the pass rush as he is a player who gets penetration and shows the ability to close very well when the opportunity to make a play presents itself.

His upper body power shows up regularly in run defense, as he is able to extend his very long arms when blockers try to get belly to belly with him and hold him in place, and when he gets this extension, he is a very hard man to keep blocked.

Conclusion/Cowboys Projection:

Kareem Martin is another one of those DE’s with a true NFL body, from a height, weight, and length standpoint. His length and upper body power make him someone I think could play DE in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. He shows abilities that make me believe he could be a very good player if he gets coaching to carry those traits from his run defense into his pass rush. Because he’s not a finished product as a rusher, he’s not a day one prospect, but at some point in the third round he will be a very good pick who will play significant snaps for his team and be a good player in both the run and pass game early, with the potential to develop into a top of the line player as his career possesses.

Pro Comparison: Justin Tuck, DE, Oakland Raiders (2005 3rd Round pick, NYG)

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