Blake Martinez, ILB
School: Stanford | Conference: PAC-12
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 239 lbs
Projected Round: 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Curtis Lofton
Blake Martinez is a highly productive inside linebacker coming out of Stanford. He's a tackling machine that does the dirty work at the line of scrimmage. This past season he was a semi-finalist for the Butkus award given to the nation's top linebacker and was named to several All PAC-12 first teams. Martinez has good size and plays physical. He was the leader of Stanford's defense in 2015 which lost 8 starters from the previous year. In 2014, Martinez was hesitant in his play. He made big improvements to his play this season when he started playing with without abandon. Martinez falls into that "worker bee" category – he's an effort player that has a record of production in college but will his lack of athleticism work against him in the NFL?
- Tenacious player and solid tackler.
- He's a thumper when he plays the run he plugs gaps and hold runners to minimal gains.
- Decent in coverage when playing a shallow zone.
- Shows quickness and nice burst when asked to pass rush from the middle.
- He showed huge strides in his playing speed and power from the 2014 to 2015 season.
- Lacks the sideline to sideline athleticism you'd like to see.
- He has good fluidity and enough speed to hang with a Scott Chandler type TE but not going to be able to keep up with the super athletic TE's of the NFL in coverage.
- Limited to pass rushing from the middle through a relatively clear gap lacks the speed to dart through blockers that may be in the way and lacks the strength to bull rush them or cause havoc.
Let's see his work:
blake Martinez had a solid week, not an early round guy, but he'll be a core ST player and solid back-up— Steve Shoup (@Steveospeak) January 30, 2016
Garnett said he doesn't think he's ever successfully blocked Blake Martinez in practice. Said one time in practice...— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) January 30, 2016
Blake Martinez said he trains every day thinking "One day I could be on the field with Tom Brady. This could be insane."— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) January 29, 2016
Temple DT Mat Ioannidis making presence felt at North practice. Ditto for Stanford LB Blake Martinez. #seniorbowl— Alain Poupart (@apoupartFins) January 26, 2016
blake martinez #4 https://t.co/cEaAhWSsx5— charles (@SundayFiasco) January 8, 2016
I'm becoming a big Blake Martinez fan. Patience as he waits for RB to pick hole, then attacks keeps fighting https://t.co/cGJSATyP9X— Lorin Cox (@CoxSports1) December 21, 2015
I'm also watching Stanford LB Blake Martinez in this one. Very smart 'backer who sniffs out the screen here https://t.co/6x6i3RstC7— Lorin Cox (@CoxSports1) December 21, 2015
Blake Martinez is pretty good: pic.twitter.com/dQX3pop3DV— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) December 6, 2015
Blake Martinez does a good job navigating traffic while crossing the street https://t.co/G3lXcZJt9L— Garrett Stallins (@smileymoth) October 29, 2015
Stanford LB Blake Martinez isn't the quickest, but he can disengage off a block and make a tackle like he did here: pic.twitter.com/Vxjsbplk7x— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) February 16, 2016
TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reports that NFL scouts are still talking about Stanford ILB Blake Martinez's showing at the Senior Bowl. Martinez is often lost in the shuffle. Though he played well in Mobile, he didn't get much attention in the press for his work. The NFL, according to Pauline, noticed. "Teams were impressed with his athleticism and the way Martinez quickly moved sideline to sideline," Pauline wrote. "The fact he recorded six tackles during the game didn’t hurt his cause either." The 6-foot-2, 247-pounder is a tackling machine. Pauline previously reported that west coast scouts were saying Martinez "has traits of Luke Kuechly in his game."
Per NFL Media draft analyst Bucky Brooks, Stanford senior ILB Blake Martinez is "one of the unsung heroes on a rapidly improving Cardinal defense." Wrote Brooks, "Martinez has a strong nose for the ball, displaying a knack for weaving through traffic to make solid shots on runners in the hole." The 6-foot-2, 247-pound senior's logged 129 tackles (six for loss) with a sack, an interception and five pass breakups. He was a whirlwind in Saturday's 42-21 win over USC in the PAC-12 Championship Game, recording 11 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Brooks believes the most important takeaway from that performance was that "[Martinez] showed scouts he could control the tackle-to-tackle box against a physical offense."
How He Would Fit on the Redskins
Martinez is a passionate and physical football player with a track record of production. If the Redskins draft him he would be an immediate contributor on special teams. Martinez comes from a 3-4 scheme at Stanford so I don't think it would take him very long to get acclimated to our defense. Depending on the impending resigning or release of Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Adam Hayward and WIll Compton Martinez's position on the depth chart would fluctuate but not by much. At minimum, I see Martinez filling the void on special teams left by Adam Hayward as I don't think he'll be back. Martinez is a tough competitor that might not challenge for a starting spot his first couple years but could be a nice developmental prospect for the Redskins and could end up taking over in the long run (see Will Compton's arc). Martinez has the attitude, instincts, and most of the physical skills needed to carve out a spot for himself on an NFL roster.