The Cardinals continue to stack talent, doing so at positions of need, so some may say they are drafting for need, but the reality is, every teams board looks a little different, and on my personal board, I had Kareem Martin ranked 31.
Martin is not going to be an impact player in 2014 like Deone Bucannon or Troy Niklas, but he has the natural upside to be the best player in this draft.
What can the Cardinals expect?
• Long-limbed, lean, elite athlete who can add weight and move down to play defensive end, or if they choose too, can stand him up and let him play outside early.
• Excellent foot quickness, combined with heavy, strong hands to stack and shed blockers.
• Understands how to use his lower body to take on double teams and anchor, and uses his upper body strength to control blockers.
• Shows pass rushing skills.
• Uses his length to keep blockers at bay.
• Has experience playing with his hand in the dirt or from a two point stance.
• For all is physical skills, is not as dominant as he should be.
• Doesn’t move laterally as well as he should.
• Too often gives himself up on plays being overaggressive.
• Will get lazy technically, which will allow inferior athletes to beat him.
No prospect has a bigger gap between pure ability and what he does on film than Martin, but that is similar to a former Cardinals’ Day Two draft pick in Calais Campbell.
Martin is a massive, long-limbed, defensive end prospect with off the charts athleticism and the ability to add weight and get stronger if the Cardinals want to use his as a five technique.
If they want to use him as an outside linebacker, then he has experience rushing the passer from that position and has shown the ability to win in the run game with his length and athleticism, but it is not something he has done a lot of at the collegiate level.
Martin has to get more consistent in his technique, his hand usage, and ability to disengage and work down the line. And, if he is going to play in a 3-4 defense, he’ll either have to gain weight to be an every down player, or become more disciplined on the edge. But, he is a weapon.