Junior | Center | 6’3, 310
Career Stats: 33 starts
Marcus Martin got his career launched quickly at USC, becoming the first true freshman since Jeff Byers in 2004 to start at offensive guard. He held that spot for ten games and was awarded as a Freshman All-American by Sporting News, CBSSports.com, CollegeFootballNews.com and FoxSportsNext.com in 2011. He continued that strong run starting every game as a sophomore before making the switch to center in 2013
As a junior center, Martin was honored as USC”s Offensive Lineman of the Year and an All-Pac-12 first teamer. He was also named a member of ESPN.com’s All-Pac-12 first team, Athlon’s and Phil Steele’s All-Pac-12 second team.
Martin’s biggest asset in pre-draft evaluations is his frame. As a center, he possesses good width and adequate height to work with in the pros, even if his limited experience at the position in college makes some scouts wary.
Upside is used a fair amount when evaluating Martin’s pro prospects. Technically he lacks the polish of a sure-fire first rounder, but there is enough to build on that his stock has steadily risen.
On top of that, his attitude could be the attribute which secures his NFL future. Scouts are particularly pleased with his tenacity, which has been likened to “a runaway beer truck.” Rob Rang of CBSsports.com described it as “nastiness,” the good kind of course.
Initially, Martin’s decision to go pro was met with raised eyebrows. The initial surprise has subsided as rumors swirl that he may be in for a first round selection. With a trip to New York now planned for the opening round of the draft, Martin at least seems secure in that possibility.
Martin has visited the San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints for predraft meetings according to nationalfootballpost.com. It is the Saints who have drawn the most murmurs in terms of a potential reach on Thursday.
Mike Mayock lists Martin as his top center available, so whether he jumps into the first round or is left waiting for Friday, any team with a need on the interior of the line could be in play.