Height: 6'0" Weight: 236 lbs
Drafted: 5th round, 141st overall
Martrell Spaight was the second defensive player picked by the Washington Redskins in this year's draft. Spaight played only two seasons with the Arkansas Razorbacks but here are some things you should know about him:
1. Before coming to Arkansas, Spaight played two years (2011,2012) at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. He registered 231 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and 4 sacks. He became an NCAA All-American as a freshman in 2011, and received the same honor in 2012 in addition to Jayhawk Conference Player of the Year. He originally committed to Kansas State, but still held out hope that the Razorbacks would come knocking. According to 247sports writer Otis Kirk, Spaight was thankful that Arkansas decided to offer him a scholarship
"For [Coach Bielema] to even think about me was huge. He told me he was going to put me on scholarship. Once the offer came by way, I know many don't get this opportunity, and I couldn't do anything but thank coach and my previous coaches. I thanked God for finding a place for me and I wanted to just do the best I could do."
2. At Arkansas, in his first season (2013), he had a down year registering only 22 tackles, a tackle for loss and a sack. In his senior season (2014), he returned to form registering 128 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, a sack and an interception. By season's end, he was first in the SEC with his 128 total tackles and second in the SEC in solo tackles with 63.
3. Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema let the public know three things about his former player in an appearance on ESPN980. These were also used in a piece done on Spaight by Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda:
- "First is he's never been redshirted, so his best football's in front of him. He came out of a junior college program, came to us, never even started as a junior, and played as a senior and led the SEC in tackles. His best football is no doubt in front of him."
- "Second thing is he's a player with an incredible amount of power in a short amount of time. He doesn't have to take four, five steps to deliver a big blow. I've seen him take a running back with one step. I've seen him destroy a guard trying to get up on him. He's just a very powerful [player]. We had a term here -- he knocked out three players in one practice -- and we called it getting 'Spaighted.'"
- He's "just an incredible kid."
4. According to Redskins.com's Jake Kring-Schreifels, Spaight felt a change with the team in his first week and was optimistic about the the direction the team is going in:
"Every day I just feel like, 'Man, this thing is going to great for us, it's going to work out for us.'" . . . "It's definitely a great system. I just feel I bring a physical presence to the team. I'm a high-motor guy. I feel like my presence being out there can do a lot for the team."
5. Spaight has the right mentality a rookie should have the about level of work it takes to be an NFL player:
"I know it's going to be a grind, every day is going to be a grind. I know the change of pace in the game is going to be a little faster so I'm definitely seeing the results of that. . . but it's definitely a fast paced game, so I've just got to make sure that I'm quick [and] responsible in my job and get to the ball."
Bottom Line: This guy could bring a physical and nasty nature to the linebacker position that the Redskins need. His former coach described the type of things he could do so he just needs to prove he can do those things on the next level.