With the 20th pick in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft the Tennessee Titans selected Markelle Martin, S, Ok. State. Martin his an athletic safety that is not afraid of laying a big hit. His 6’1″, 207 lb frame is pretty average for a free safety in the NFL. His draft stock is near the top 100 players on several media scouts’ boards and most projected him in the 3-4 round range. Value meets need quite nicely with this pick.
His stats are a little strange to me though. His tackle numbers increased each year on the field (74 total in 2011), but he only has 3 career interceptions…and they all came in 2010. He does have 39 career pass defenses as well as 2 forced fumble in 2011. Markelle Martin shines in big games too. As a Cowboy he played in many of them. He tallied 9 tackles and a pass breakup in the 2010 Cotton Bowl. Martin also won player of the game honors in the 2010 Alamo Bowl where he returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown. Another place Markelle Martin excels in is the classroom and in 2010 he won the 2010 team award for his academic performances.
Pros: Martin has decent coverage skills and has the ability to line up in the slot or over tight ends. He reads and reacts well and occasionally can lay a big hit. He is a smart football player and a fantastic leader on and off the field.
Cons: Martin has a bit of an injury issue missing time in 2009 and 2011 for a hip injury and shoulder surgery. NFL quarterbacks will most likely attack him due to his aggressive playing style. He was not asked to blitz much at OK. State and may need some coaching in that area.
Markelle Martin was a good pickup for the Tennessee Titans and plays a position where they desperately needed depth. He can contribute right away as a gunner on special teams. Perhaps he can take over for Michael Griffin in 2013.
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