Former Trojan center Marcus Martin made a late trip to New York for the opening round of the 2014 NFL draft, but he will have to wait until tomorrow, likely during the second round, to hear his name called.
Martin and WR Marqise Lee were the two Trojans in the best position to get drafted high, so with neither of them being selected, no Trojans were taken in the first round.
Martin was considered the top center available in the draft by Mike Mayock of the NFL Network and has been projected to be a starter right away at the pro level.
The biggest knock against Martin’s pro potential is a lack of experience at the center position, having played just one season there. His strength has also been questioned, specifically his failure to make use of the strength he has.
All that considered, Martin has ideal frame and athleticism for the position and seems to possess the right attitude to achieve the necessary improvement. While he is slightly undersized to be a guard on the pro level, he also possesses versatility in being able to play both position.
Martin started consistently on the Trojan offensive line for three years, beginning as a freshman offensive guard in 2011. His ten starts that first season earned first team Freshman All-American honors from Sporting News, CBSSports.com, CollegeFootballNews.com and FoxSportsNext.com.
As a senior he moved to center and started every game before a knee injury ended his season against UCLA. He was named to the All-Pac-12 first team and was voted USC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year.