The New York Giants have a number of pressing needs on both sides of the ball.
But one of the more under-the-radar needs for the team is a front 7 defender who can help improve their run defense as well as give them more depth in their pass rush. Their defensive line was the strength of the defense as a whole, but their starters can’t be expected to play every snap in all 17 games.
Washington’s Jeremiah Martin played as both a stand-up rusher and a down defensive end on his way to a break-out 8.5 sack, 11.0 tfl season in 2022. Is that production a sign of things to come?
The Giants used a very “multiple” defensive scheme in 2022, and they were able to incorporate a number of different skill sets. Could that make them a good landing place for Martin?
Games Played: 39
Tackles for a loss: 15.0
Forced fumbles: 2
Passes defensed: 1
Games Played: 13
Tackles for a loss: 11.0
Forced fumbles: 2
Passes defensed: 1
Best: Length, play strength, competitive toughness
Worst: Quickness, agility, burst, speed
Projection: A special teams player and rotational defensive end in a four-man front
(Martin is Washington EDGE number 3)
Martin is a big, long, and strong defensive end prospect.
Martin began his college career as a four-star recruit for Texas A&M, but transferred to Washington before the 2021 season. He has great size for the position at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds and appears to have the long arms scouts prize for edge defenders. He played out of both a 2 and 3-point stance and has good play strength for the position. Martin is is a capable power rusher and is capable of using his length and strength to set a firm edge in the run game.
He can push offensive tackles back into the pocket when he rushes with good leverage. Likewise, he is able to hold double teams when crashing inside on tackle-end exchange (TEX) stunts. Martin’s strength and experience playing as a down lineman allowed Washington to move him inside to rush as a defensive tackle on occasion as well. He is a hard hitter who can jar the ball loose when he’s able to square up on ball carriers.
Martin typically relies on a bull rush as his go-to pass rushing move, with a two-hand swipe and spin move as his usual counters. He shows solid initial quickness before applying his power. He was also asked to drop into coverage on occasion and looked relatively comfortable in space.
While Martin has solid initial quickness, he’s far from an elite athlete. He is unable to sustain his initial quickness on his first step and doesn’t accelerate into the backfield. He is a pure power rusher and has little speed element to his game. That can lead to him getting stuck on blockers who are prepared for his power. Likewise, Martin lacks good bend and agility, which prevent him from flattening around the edge. He missed sacks in the tape viewed because he simply could not corner tight enough to attempt a hit on the quarterback.
Martin can also struggle with awareness of the play and lose track of the ball at mesh points. He has good discipline as an option defender, but can be slow to recognize when the ball has gone in another direction.
Overall Grade: 5.9
Martin projects as a special teams player and rotational defensive end in a 4-3 defense at the NFL level.
Martin had a breakout season in 2022, with 11 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks after little production in his previous four seasons. That suggests that his best football may still be ahead of him. However his lack of burst, bend, and twitch likely limits his pass rushing potential at the NFL level.
Martin was primarily asked to play from a 2-point stance as a stand-up pass rusher at Washington, but appeared more comfortable when the play called for him to rush as a down defensive end. He maintained better pad level and was better able to transfer his initial quickness off the snap into power and get under blocker’s pads. He was moved inside to rush from a defensive tackle position on occasion, and he was able to do so reasonably well.
Martin’s highest ceiling is in a 4-3 defense, particularly one that occasionally asks defensive ends to move inside in obvious passing downs. That said, he will need to make his future team as a special teams player and work his way into the defensive rotation.
Martin’s lack of elite athleticism will likely hurt his draft stock, but he could be a useful depth player later in the draft.