Marcus Martin found himself as the final player waiting in the green room at Radio City Music Hall, until the San Fransisco 49ers ended his holding pattern, taking the USC center with the No. 70 pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
Martin accepted a late invitation to New York for the draft with speculation swirling that he might even slip into the first round. Instead, he spent all of Thursday and the bulk of Friday hoping to wondering when his name would be called.
Mike Mayock of NFL Network ranked Martin as the top center available in the draft, but Colorado State’s Weston Richburg went off the board first in the second round to the New York Giants.
After starting 20 games at guard as a freshman and sophomore at USC, Martin made the switch to center in 2013 and anchored the line in the Trojans first 13 games before injuring his kneecap against UCLA.
He was named to the 2013 All-Pac-12 first team. ESPN.com also honored him on their All-Pac-12 first team while Athlon and Phil Steele named him to their All-Pac-12 second teams.
Martin’s teammates voted him USC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year.
The 49ers lost last year’s starting center Jonathan Goodwin to free agency so there’s a good chance Martin could end up with a chance to start as a rookie.