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Prospect Watch: Jonathan Martin

Written by Dan Gigler on .

An occasional look at potential 2012 NFL Draft picks for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Previous installments featured Memphis DT Dontari Poe, Washington DT Alameda Ta'amu, Georgia OL Cordy Glenn, Alabama LB Dont'a Hightower, and Ohio State OT Mike Adams. Today: Stanford OT Jonathan Martin ... 

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In a draft deep at the always coveted offensive tackle position, here is another for the Steelers to consider: Stanford's Jonathan Martin.

A technically sound player with above-average athleticism and great intelligence -- Martin turned down the opportunity to become the first fourth-generation African-American student ever at Harvard -- he is said to have a mean streak on the field but is of sterling character off of it.

The knock on him seem to be related to his strength, which isn't great, and could be a real problem when dealing with the monster edge rushers of the NFL.

However, what he lacks in strength he's said to make up for in toughness, which was noted by Sports Illustrated's Tony Pauline: "Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin had been struggling with flu-like symptoms leading up to the combine and missed almost an entire week of training. After initially choosing not to work out at the combine, Martin reversed course and decided to participate in position drills after scouts challenged him during interviews. Martin did reasonably well, and the way he toughed the day out will sit well with scouts."

Martin has been all over the draft board. He's been listed by some as a no. 10 pick, others not in the first round at all. Many have him somewhere between 10 and 20. Some have the Steelers taking him. Mike Mayock has him listed as the no. 4 overall tackle in the draft, just behind Ohio State's Mike Adams (a guy the Steelers may be sweet on). My well-thumbed copy of Lindy's Sports Pro Football Draft Preview issue has him at no. 3, ahead of Adams, and compares him to the Jets' 3-time Pro Bowl tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson.

Here are excerpts of some scouting reports on Martin (with links to full reports):

NFL.com: "Overview: Martin is one of two tackle prospects in this year's class who could be called elite, and given the value of the position will be a likely first-round pick because of it. He embodied all that Stanford football was throughout his time there, as he is an aggressive, smart, technically sound prospect who will enter the league at a stage in his development where he should be able to contribute immediately."

CBS Sports/NFLDraftScout.com: "Martin turned down the opportunity to be the first fourth-generation African-American Harvard student in history to become a scholar-athlete at Stanford ... He did so well enough to accomplish something else he probably couldn't have managed as Harvard -- be considered as a first-round draft choice. Not all scouts agree that Martin has the natural strength to be highly successful as a pro pass protector, but he did manage to get the job done in Stanford's pro-style offense. He seemed more comfortable as a run blocker, but that is not unusual. Some scouts believe that Stanford's zone blocking scheme helped Martin maximize his results and that he will need more strength to battle the behemoths he will encounter in the NFL ... He does flash some attitude on the field, but is far from a bully. Martin was named first team All-Pac-10 in 2010 and first-team All Pac-12 in 2011."

National Football Post: "Impression: He's got the NFL size, length and overall athletic skill set. However, he's not a natural anchor player and doesn't strike me as a guy who is ever going to be real physical at the next level. He can mirror in space, but struggles to stick through contact and isn't real heavy handed. Looks like a finesse tackle who will get over drafted because of athletic talent, but is going to have a hard time keeping the edge clean at the next level."

Pro Football Weekly warns that Martin is overhyped:

Highlight video:

SB Nation quick profile:

Here's his combine presser: 

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