Aug 29, 2013; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw (14) passes as he is pressured by North Carolina Tar Heels defensive end Kareem Martin (95) in the second quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions 2014 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Kareem Martin

The SideLion Report NFL Draft Prospect Profile series gives an in-depth scouting analysis of college football players who could be on the Detroit Lions’ radar this spring.

Over the last several weeks, we’ve examined numerous first round candidates for the Lions.  As the draft inches closer, SideLion Report will highlight prospects the franchise may be considering in the second round.

The Lions will look to add defensive line depth in the draft, and North Carolina’s Kareem Martin garnered interest from the franchise at the combine in February.

After viewing three games (South Carolina, Miami, Duke), I gave Martin a 6.6 grade (early third round).

Here’s an excerpt from his scouting report:

Kareem Martin – Defensive End – North Carolina

Height: 6057  Weight: 272   40 Time: 4.72

NFL Comparison: Carlos Dunlap

 Strong Points:

Prototypical height and weight with long arms.  Coordinated athlete – plays over his pads and has very good body control for a big man.  Strong upper body and can convert speed to power.  Can hold his ground vs. downhill run blocks.  Heady player with good read and react ability.  Productive and durable three year starter with good football character.  Team captain.  

Weak Points:

Average burst off the snap.  Lacks any suddenness or explosiveness to his play.  Doesn’t possess the burst/quickness to threaten the edge as a speed rusher.  Limited flexibility to bend and dip.  Needs to play with better leverage.  Hand technique needs improvement, as does his pass rush arsenal.  Motor runs hot and cold.  Limited scheme versatility.

Summary:

A productive three-year starter for the Tar Heels, Martin finished his career with 19.5 sacks, 45.5 TFL and 178 tackles, with the bulk of his production coming during his senior season (11.5 sacks, 21.5 TFL and 82 tackles).  Possessing excellent height and weight, Martin is a push/pull defender who relies on length and power to get the job done.  With average burst off the ball and limited suddenness, Martin doesn’t possess the explosiveness, dip and bend needed to routinely beat OT when running the arc.  He’s far better at using his impressive upper body strength to stack at the POA, slip blocks and flatten inside to play the run, though he needs to play with better leverage to be more consistent in this regard.  He’ll also need to improve his hand technique and counter moves to be a more consistent pass rush threat.  Most importantly, he’ll need to learn to play with more consistent motor when things aren’t going his way.  Early third round developmental LDE prospect with starter potential if he can improve his technique and play with more consistent motor.

Given his size/speed combination, Martin could potentially be drafted higher than I have him graded.  However, he is not ready to start on day one and will need time to develop in order to realize his full potential.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Defensive End Prospects Detroit Lions Kareem Martin NFL Draft North Carolina Football

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