Zach Martin OL Notre Dame #70
Size/Athleticism: Lacks ideal height. Athleticism is only average for a tackle, but quick footwork would be an asset if shifted inside to guard. Seems to struggle with balance, which especially hurts his play in pass protection at tackle. Short arms, especially for a tackle, and it shows up in his game.
Pass Protection: Lacks the long arms and elite upper body strength to swallow up defenders and completely take them out of the play. Once he’s engaged, he battles hard but he’ll the battle on occasion. Looks awkward trying to slide outside with edge-rushers. He’s fundamentally sound but he just isn’t quick enough. When the outer limits of his ability to kick out are tested he looks awkward and tends to get upright and out of position. Fairly strong lower body allows him to handle himself the bull rush, but it’s a challenge and he often loses leverage as the battle goes on.
Run Blocking: Not strong enough to be a dominant road grader but is technically sound and can be effective. Quick off the snap and delivers a nice initial pop. He’s a fighter and always plays through the whistle. Shows great awareness and doesn’t get lost in space. Looks fluid getting to the second level. Takes smart angles and diagnoses his assignment quickly. Lacks the mobility to adjust if he’s attacking a moving linebacker in space.
Intangibles: Plenty of experience as a four-year starter. Team captain as a junior and senior.
Durability: Started 52 games with no known issues.
Comments: Martin is a smart lineman and technically sound in all aspects of the game. But he lacks the athleticism to play tackle in the pros. My biggest concern is his lack of balance, which really showed when facing more powerful edge-rushers such as Ziggy Ansah. I think most of his flaws can be masked at guard, because he can handle bull-rushers, he simply lacks the ability to handle the dominant punch delivers from strong edge rushers who can build momentum before engaging. That said, his power is still a concern and there are too many questions to warrant a first-round selection.
We are still about 2 months away from the 2014 NFL draft, but people are already looking forward to what this crop of rookies will bring to the table. People who play in one day fantasy leagues might be a little hesitant to draft a rookie from the very beginning, but they could be impact players by the middle of the season. It is hard to predict what type of success players will have before they are actually on a specific team, but here are a few players poised to be breakout stars from day one.
Quarterback – Blake Bortles
There are 3 quarterbacks who seem to be thought of as franchise type of quarterbacks. Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Bortles all expect to hear their name called within the 1st 10 picks of the draft. However, it seems as though Bortles will be the most NFL-ready at this point in time. Not only is he the biggest and strongest quarterback of the bunch, but he has shown quite a bit of poise as a pocket passer so far in his career. He might not have the same type of ceiling as the other 2 players, but look for him to be the best option in one day fantasy leagues in 2014 at that position.
Running Back – Ka’Deem Carey
There are not a lot of people very high on the upcoming running back rookie class, but every season there are at least a few surprises to keep an eye on. It looks as though Ka’Deem Carey has the potential to be an impact player in one day fantasy leagues this upcoming season. At 5’9” and 207 pounds, Carey is never going to be a guy who provides a lot of long runs for big yards. However, he can do a little bit of everything and he has a knack for finding the end zone. It would not be a surprise at all to see him get a lot of touches in the red zone for whichever team drafts him.
Wide Receiver – Sammy Watkins
This one seems pretty obvious, but there are some other wide receivers who could make an impact as well. Sammy Watkins was absolutely sensational for Clemson in college, and he has the size and speed to be a number 1 wideout in the future. Even if he is selected by a team that has some talent at receiver already, he should be able to get more than enough touches from the very beginning. A guy like Mike Evans might have more red zone potential, but Watkins is the total package who should be an impact player in fantasy football for years to come.
Shannon Smith – special contributor to DraftAce
Logan Ryan CB Rutgers #11
Size/Athleticism: Adequate height and size. He’s well-rounded athlete who played quarterback in high school.
Coverage: Likes to step up in press coverage, but he isn’t exceptionally strong or fast. He struggles to consistently knock guys off their routes and when he doesn’t, receivers can easily gain a step on him once they’re around him. Did a nice job covering receivers in the slot. He’s quick with his footwork and is able to stick with them on the quick slants. He may be an ideal nickel corner at the next level.
Ball skills: Consistently gets his hand on the ball when he’s in position, but he’ll drop some interceptions.
Run support: Plays like he’s afraid of contact at times. He’ll hang out near the ball carrier and jump in only when he sees an opportunity to try to strip the ball. Not a wrap-up tackler. He swipes at the feet, which causes him to miss a lot of tackle tackle opportunities. His tackle stats aren’t bad, but it’s misleading. He make them when the right opportunity presents itself, but he doesn’t make a ton of impact tackles.
Intangibles: Two-year starter. Hasn’t been matched up with many elite receivers – Big East lacks much offensive NFL talent and he wasn’t challenged in many non-conference games either.
Durability: No known issues.
Comments: Ryan is somewhat limited by his physical tools, but may be an ideal nickel corner in the NFL. His straight-line speed is only average and his size is lacking, which limits his potential on the outside. But he’s very quick and demonstrates consistent footwork when matched up with receivers in the slot. His ability lock down a slot receiver and take away the quick slants and curls could make him a valuable asset in the NFL.
Just one month into his NFL career Robert Griffin III is already carrying the Washington Redskins. Just how important is he to their success?
Given the uncertainty of his current health situation, most sportsbooks currently have the Vikings/Redskins game off the board, more Sportsbook reviews information available here.
It has become clear that Redskins go as Griffin goes, which means he needs to learn to protect himself. Griffin was knocked out of the game last week, and complained about the Rams taking cheap shots at him the week before. While injuries are sometimes out of your control, Griffin needs to learn that he can take himself out of dangerous situations.
If Griffin doesn’t learn to avoid hits, these injuries are going to continue to mount. His mobility is an asset, but he simply needs to learn to be smart about when to use it and when to play it safe.