The Miami Dolphins returned to the practice field yesterday, moving from their bye week to the second New York Jets week of the year. We took the opportunity yesterday to take a look at rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins' first round pick last April. Today, we will continue the review of the rookies with a look at second round selection Jonathan Martin.
Round 2, Pick 10 (42 Overall): Jonathan Martin, Tackle, Stanford.
Before the madness that was the rise of Tannehill prior to the draft, most mocks had the Dolphins selecting an offensive lineman to shore up the right side of the line after the mess that was Marc Colombo last year. And, Martin was a popular name for that offensive lineman selection. Instead, Miami took Tannehill at eighth overall, and then watched Martin fall to them 34 picks later.
Playing at Stanford, Martin served as the left tackle responsible for protecting Andrew Luck's blind side. For the Dolphins, Martin had to switch sides, and technique, to be the team's right tackle opposite All Pro left tackle Jake Long.
During the preseason, Martin struggled. It was clear he was still trying to work on his footwork and blocking technique as a right tackle. He was susceptible to speed rushing, and it was showing in the games. People started comparing his performances to what we all saw from The Turnstile last year, and there was not a lot to logically argue against the comparison.
Other than the fact that Martin was a rookie, not a veteran in the final year of his career - a year he should not have even tried.
But, as the season has gone one, Martin has improved. He is developing nicely and has allowed just one sack and two quarterback hits this season. He's not playing outstanding football right now, but he is developing and is doing enough to allow Tannehill to throw the ball.
Earlier this month, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was asked about Martin's play. He responded, ""I think Jonathan Martin, for a rookie, is playing above our expectations at this point. He's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he is excellent with his hands, (and) he takes pretty good pass sets for the most part."
Martin will continue to develop throughout the year, and, just like Tannehill, we will have to expect rookie mistakes at times. But, we can also expect practicing against Cameron Wake every day will help Martin get better, faster.
My Current Grade for Martin: C+