Doug Martin

Doug Martin lives up to expectations in debut

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1st-round pick Doug Martin impressed in his debut, carrying the Bucs to a 16-10 victory over the Panthers.

Martin carried the ball 24 times for 95 yards and added another 23 yards on four receptions. And if there was any question as to who the feature back was in this offense, LeGarrette Blount had just four touches on the day (three rushes, one reception).

I had Martin as the 14th rated player on my board in this year’s draft, so his performance doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s a legitimate feature back and this game should simply set the tone for the rest of his season.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Buccaneers, Rookie Notes 1 Comment

Draft Grades: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This was a potential franchise changing draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They made the wise decision to move back in the 1st round, which allowed them to acquire the picks necessary to move back up in the late 1st and come away with a huge haul on day one of the draft.

The Bucs passed up the opportunity to land Morris Claiborne, but still upgraded their secondary with the addition of Mark Barron. The Bucs should still be worried about their cornerbacks, but Barron will be a fun weapon for defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan to use. He’s a versatile player who can be effective when lining up all over the field.

Doug Martin was arguably the most underrated player in this draft class and the Bucs got an absolute steal in the late 1st round. He’s the next star undersized running back, following in the footsteps of Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew.

I wasn’t as high on Lavonte David as most, but he’s a perfect fit in Tampa. They’re one of the few teams that doesn’t mind using smaller, more athletic linebackers and David fits the mold perfectly. He’ll start at weak-side linebacker from day one.

Najee Goode will add some depth, and can play strong-side or inside linebacker, but he real value may be on special teams.

Keith Tandy adds some depth at cornerback, but I’m a little surprised they waited this long to address the position. They’re putting a lot of faith in Ronde Barber and Aqib Talib, and that’s a risky decision.

Michael Smith could prove to be a steal in the 7th round. I wouldn’t be surprised if Smith takes over the backup job from LeGarrette Blount before the season is over.

Drake Dunsmore can play tight end or fullback. He’ll have to battle for a job in training camp with a number of players at both positions.

The Bucs didn’t get much help on the third day of the draft and failed to upgrade their situation at cornerback, but that’s the only think holding them back from an A+. This was a phenomenal haul for a franchise that was in need of a boost. Considering the fact that the Falcons and Saints did very little to help themselves this offseason, the Bucs closed the gap in the NFC South in a big way.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Buccaneers, Draft Grades - 2012 1 Comment

Doug Martin scouting report

Doug Martin RB Boise State #22
Ht: 5’9″

Wt: 220

Strengths:
Small, compact build makes him tough to bring down. Impressive athlete; played safety/linebacker early in his career. Exceptional balance and body control; if not wrapped up, will quickly regroup after a hit and keep plowing ahead. Effective as a receiver out of the backfield; relatively reliable hands. Hits his holes with a burst; gets up to full speed quickly. A shifty runner with exceptionally quick feet. Plenty of experience on special teams, in coverage and on returns. Experienced returning kicks; shows great vision on special teams.
Weaknesses:
Doesn’t go down on first contact, but also doesn’t have the size to break tackles once he’s wrapped up. Lack of height hurts him in the passing game; easily covered up by taller linebackers if he isn’t able to shed them quickly. Will trust his speed/athleticism too much at times, and lose yardage while trying to extend a play. Open-field speed is adequate, but not a consistent threat to take it the distance.
Comments:
Martin, who was nicknamed “Muscle Hamster” by teammates, is built like a bowling ball and fits into the Maurice Jones-Drew or Ray Rice mold. His lack of size will scare off some teams, and likely knocks him out of the 1st-round on most draft boards, but he legitimately has the combination of strength, speed and vision that should allow him to excel as a starting running back at the next level.
Videos:
2011 vs Arizona State (bowl game)
2011 vs New Mexico 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 2 Comments