When the Denver Broncos’ third-round selection comes around on Friday, one player may be there that could help on the interior of their Defensive Line. Mike Martin, a 6-1, 306 lb. Nose Tackle out of Michigan might just be the name announced by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Martin, born September 1, 1990 (age 21), is the 8th ranked Defensive Tackle and 79th ranked overall prospect in this years draft class. He has recorded 88 Tackles, 17.5 Tackles For Loss and 6 Sacks in his College career. Mike played in 29 consecutive games for the Wolverines starting with the season opener in 2008 and has been the team's starting Nose Tackle for every game during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Following the 2010 Big Ten Conference football season he was an All-Conference selection by both the coaches (2nd team) and the media (honorable mention). Then following the 2011 Big Ten Conference football season a second team All-Conference selection by both the coaches and the media.
In the winter prior to the 2010 season, Martin underwent surgery to repair a shoulder injury that he sustained during his freshman year. He returned to full health by the start of the 2010 season.
Martin was selected by ESPN.com as one of Michigan's two "weight room warriors" for his 505-pound bench press and 700-pound squat. In 2010, Michigan linebacker Craig Roh said of Martin:
"Mike Martin is just an animal out there. He's the strongest person I've ever seen in the weight room. It's really showing on the field. He's taking on double teams. (Against Massachusetts), I think the play he Sacked the Quarterback, he beat a double team and Sacked him. Which is — stupid."
Defensive end Ryan Van Bergen added, "He's so fast to get into the backfield. Credit that to his wrestling. I don't know how he can be so explosive and at the same time be moving his feet that fast. It's very unique. He's been unreal."
Martin was one of 30 defensive tackles and 58 defensive linemen that participated in the February 22 — February 28, 2012 NFL Scouting Combine. He ranked in the top 4 among defensive tackles in all 6 events.
Arm length: 32 1⁄4"
Hand size: 9 1⁄8"
40-yd Time: 4.88 (3rd among DT's)
20-yd Shuttle: 4.25 (2nd among DT's)
3-cone: 7.19 (3rd among DT's)
Vertical Jump: 33.5" (4th among DT's)
Broad Jump: 9'5" (1st among DT's)
Bench Press: 36 Reps (2nd among DT's)
Martin has started the past three years inside for Michigan after making a nice impact as a true freshman. He is a tough and durable player who relies on his strength to control blockers and make plays. His strength is what defines him, he lives and dies by it.
STRENGTHS: Martin has a good feel for offensive lines and block schemes and how to slant inside of lineman to get into the backfield. He is very strong against the run and can neutralize any blocker. He can hold up a block, and then shed to get to the ball. He plays with instincts and is strong.
WEAKNESSES: Martin can struggle in space and is a stout player at the point, but he really doesn't have much production rushing the passer. Once in the backfield, he has a tough time running down the quarterback, and his athletic ability can be exposed in space.
CBSSports.com’s Scouting Report
A lifelong fan of the Wolverines, there was little doubt where the 2007 Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year would choose to matriculate. A four-star recruit by all of the major high school scouting services, Martin also won the Michigan Wrestling State Championship in his junior season (after having no prior wrestling experience), and broke T.J. Duckett's former Michigan high school shot put record on his way to a state championship. Martin used that combination of strength and hand/foot control to earn Freshman All American honors after his first year in Ann Arbor. He continued to improve each year.
At 6-1, Martin is undersized height-wise, but he has a thick, compact build on his wrestler's frame. He fires off the snap with a relentless attitude and uses his low pad level and violent hands to tear through blockers.
Martin's long arms allow him to keep his opponents from grasping a firm hold of him. With good lateral agility, power and a relentless motor, Martin got the better of Ohio State's Michael Brewster, a possible top 100 pick, on numerous occasions during Senior Bowl practices.
Martin is an undersized nose tackle with loads of experience in a 3-4 defense. But he lacks a consistent anchor against double teams and just does not have the right frame to be an NFL starter. Because of his ability to penetrate against one-on-one blocks, Martin could be a solid rotation player in a 4-3 scheme as a three-technique tackle and move to the nose on passing downs.
04/19/2012 - Martin measured out at 6-1, 306 pounds and is the 5th-shortest Defensive Lineman in the draft. I watched him for a week at the Senior Bowl, interviewed him twice and watched a number of game tapes. Martin is a one gap penetrating Nose Tackle with a wrestling background and it shows up when you study him. I have heard people say he lacks strength. 36 reps on the bench, a nonstop motor, a refuse-to-lose mentality and technique. Some say he doesn't have pass-rush skills, but then how does he have more sacks than Dontari Poe, Michael Brokers, and Josh Chapman combined? He's a football player!
Positives: Built thickly and low to the ground. Excellent weight-room strength and functional football-playing strength. Smart and instinctive. Feels pressure. Flashes ability to beat reach blocks and disrupt gaps. Very athletic and light on his feet. Quick and agile — redirects and accelerates cleanly. Good balance and body control. Difficult to engage — coordinates strong, active hands with energetic feet to tug and rip off blocks. Gives effort in pursuit and flows to the ball. Strong wrap tackler. Plays hard.
Negatives: Lacks ideal height and overall body length. Frame is nearly maxed out. Inconsistent anchor. Can be covered up by larger linemen and gets moved by double-teams. Limited two-gap ability. Does not convert speed to power (average bull rush) — does not consistently cave the pocket. Number of impact plays is not proportionate with physical ability. Not a natural pass rusher (minimal sack production).
Summary: Highly competitive, hard-nosed, high-motor, athletic fireplug capable of manning either interior spot within a 4-3 front. Average pass-rush ability tempers expectations, but is at his best slanting and moving and has the strength, movement skills and grit to appeal to teams such as the Eagles, Titans, Falcons and Bengals.
The National Football Post calls Martin an overachiever:
A short, stout nose tackle prospect with a wrestling background. Is a naturally strong kid who displays good initial quickness off the snap, but doesn't generate a ton of snap into contact. Doesn't do a great job keeping his butt down into his stance and seems to really roll his hips into contact taking away from his power at the point. However, possesses a real passion for the game, displays a nose for the football and works endlessly in pursuit. Showcases good natural quickness when trying to avoid blocks in the run game as he cleanly side steps defenders in tight areas, extends his arms well and uses his strong/quick hands in order to keep himself clean. Possesses a solid initial burst in pursuit and can make plays off his frame in the run game and tackle well on the move. Displays slightly above average anchor strength for the position, but did get a lot stronger from a year ago and I expect him to do the same this year. Isn't real long armed, struggles with leverage at times initially off the snap and can be sealed from the football once a blocker gets their hands on him. However, he's a tough guy to really move off the line and always seems to locate the football and put himself around the action.
Displays some initial burst off the snap as a pass rusher. Isn't dynamic getting after the quarterback, but does have the burst to at least threaten gaps inside. Does a nice job once he gains a step keeping his pad level down and working through contact. Also, does exhibit good hand quickness keeping himself clean with some lateral agility in high areas to work his arm over. Is tighter in the hips and will fail to breakdown at times, but the guy gives you everything he has chasing from the backside and consistently is around the action.
Impression: The kind of prospect you don't want to bet against. Is limited and doesn't have the kind of frame to get all that bigger, but I can see him working his way into a rotation as a 43 nose in the NFL and being the kind of guy coaches love.
An overachieving interior lineman with a wrestling background, a quick burst and more Sacks than two other players at the same position who are rated higher. This guy leads by example and gives it all for his teammates. At 87, I think Mike Martin would be a nice fit for Denver, even if he is just a rotational player who pushes his fellow linemen.
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