At just under 6’2″ and 207 pounds, Martin is a natural athlete, with a lean frame, large wingspan, and above average balance and body control. He flashes an explosive first step and noticeable burst both when attacking the line of scrimmage, and when breaking on the ball in the defensive backfield. As a three year starter at Oklahoma State, Martin is seasoned and productive, having recorded 74 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 11 passes broken up, and 2 forced fumbles, in 2011, which are impressive totals for a free safety generally assigned to patrol the deep third. With his athleticism and physical style of play, there’s a lot to like about Martin; however, he’s far from a finished product, displaying only average recognition skills and feel for the game. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to showcase his athletic prowess at the combine, after injuring his knee in training. To his credit, Martin was able to tough it out and participate in Oklahoma State’s pro day in late April, but his 4.60 time in the 40, and underwhelming performance in other tests, probably aren’t a true reflection of his abilities. He’s still not fully recovered from minor surgery, and it remains to be seen how his health status will affect his draft position. Based on in-game performance, Martin should be a solid second round pick, and likely the first free safety off the board.
In coverage, Martin showcases a smooth, compact backpedal and balanced footwork. When asked to open his hips and run with the receiver, he does so fluidly, and is able to mirror the opponent at all levels of the field. He possesses good ball skills and excellent range, with the ability to accelerate quickly and close on the pass catcher or ballcarrier. Versus the run, Martin looks comfortable at the line of scrimmage, either as an attacking “in the box” defender, or as a blitzer off the edge. He’s an aggressive tackler, with the propensity to separate receiver and ball, and he has the knack for playing big in big games, like the 2011 Alamo Bowl, where he was named MVP.
At times, in his pedal, Martin gets too high moving backwards, which causes him to be slow to change direction laterally when required to transition out of breaks. He isn’t a truly instinctual player, and doesn’t always diagnose plays correctly as they develop around him; here, his athleticism can get him back into the play, but it is often after he has taken several steps in the wrong direction. And, he struggles with run/pass keys, biting too frequently on pedestrian play fakes. As a tackler, he habitually goes for the big hit, and can deliver a significant blow; however, often the attempted knock-out shot results in just a glance, with Martin neglecting to wrap-up, especially in the open field.