Doug Martin emerging as the second-best back in the NFL draft

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The first running back selected in this year’s NFL draft will be Alabama’s Trent Richardson, and he’ll be gone within the first half-dozen picks. After that, it may be a long wait until we hear another running back’s name called: Just as his Alabama teammate Mark Ingram was last year, Richardson could be the only running back selected when the first round commences in two weeks.

But while the identity of the No. 2 running back on the board was murky for much of the last few months, Boise State’s Doug Martin is emerging as the clear favorite to be the second running back selected, and perhaps to join Richardson in the first round.

Mike Mayock made the case on NFL Network that Martin can do everything a team asks of him with the ball in his hands and is also strong in pass protection, and therefore deserves a first-round grade. The only question is the running back position has been devalued to such an extent that you have to be a supreme talent like Richardson to go in the first round.

“I love him at the end of the first round, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he slid into Round 2,” Mayock said.

After Martin, the top running backs include Virginia Tech’s David Wilson, Oregon’s LaMichael James and Miami’s Lamar Miller. All three have talent, but all three also have question marks. Wilson is an every-down back and strong in short yardage, but he fumbled seven times in 2011. Miller has game-breaking moves, but he often came off the field on third downs and at the goal line. James has great speed and quickness, but he never showed in Oregon’s spread offense that he can run straight ahead and gain ground in four-yard chunks.

Martin doesn’t have those question marks. Richardson is the clear No. 1 running back in the draft, but Martin is starting to emerge as a clear No. 2.

26 responses to “Doug Martin emerging as the second-best back in the NFL draft

  1. I like Dough Martin. He reminds me alot of Ray Rice.

    But I think he will slide to the 2nd round. T-Rich is a no-brainer. Also, I think Lamar Miller will get picked ahead of him (even though I think Martin is the better back). And I think David Wilson is better than Martin. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he goes before Martin.

  2. The kid from Oregon could have a Sproles style influence on an offense, the type of guy you can steal in the middle rounds of the draft and use in certain packages and hope to break a big play.

  3. Trent Richardson has talent but I think he will slide on draft day (Cin at 17) just because the devalued RB position. We will see. Can’t wait!!

  4. Hasn’t played a down of football in over 3 months and is emerging as the second best back in the draft. Impressive.

  5. You obviously never watched Oregon play football. LaMichael James runs up the middle probably more than a traditional offense. It’s not a normal spread offense, they run the ball a whole lot over there in Oregon.

  6. Miller has game-breaking moves, but he often came off the field on third downs…

    Cincinnati’s third down back is Brian Leonard, who is a beast in that role.

    and at the goal line…
    Cincinnati just signed Green-Ellis in free agency.

    I would be excited if Miller fell to the Bengals in the second round.

  7. emoorm says:
    Apr 12, 2012 1:49 PM
    Trent Richardson has talent but I think he will slide on draft day (Cin at 17) just because the devalued RB position. We will see. Can’t wait!!
    Maybe you have never seen TR play. No way in hell he gets out of the top ten.

  8. 2 months ago, Lamar Miller was in the 1st round, Doug Martin was in the late rounds, and Trent Richardson was Top 10, not Top 5, so basically it isn’t worth reading into anything. It doesn’t matter how good of an all-around running back a player is anymore, all that matters is how he fits into a team’s scheme, and that will determine where he gets drafted.

  9. He reminds me alot of MJD and Matt Forte, in terms of size and running style. I think he’d be a great fit for a team like Cincinatt if they feel he’s worth the #21 overall pick. Otherwise, I could see him ending up in New England or a team at the top of round 2 (St. Louis possibly.)

  10. Is emerging? Where have you been? He’s been considered the 2nd best in almost everybody’s book since the season ended.

    How did you guys not catch this earlier? Oh yeah, you were busy mocking a DT with one year of college playing time to a team that spent a 1st and a second on DTs two years agao and then just signed one to a multimillion dollar deal the day before you put it out.

  11. It’s to his credit that he’s willing to block on passing plays, but is he big enough to block blitzing NFL LBs? Teams would do better to use him as a receiver on passing downs.

  12. Chris Polk is better than Martin and is going to be steal for the team that grabs him. The guy has more yards after contact than any of the backs including Richardsons and more receptions than any of them too.
    But his best stat is he only had four fumbles in 878 (799 carries and 79 catches) touches in college or 1 every 220 touches.

  13. Being from Idaho, I’ve watched all his games as a Boist St fan, he’s great. Kellen Moore gets a lot of credit (deservedly so) but IMO Doug Martin was the best player on the offense this year.

    He’s a punisher, a lot of people don’t know he started here as a safety, so he also knows how to read defense. Kudos Doug (Muscle Hamster) Martin, you deserve to be among the top of your position.

  14. David Wilson is better than all of them.

    It might take a couple years, but that will soon become evident.

    Not only is he extremely athletic and fast, he never goes down on first contact. For a mid-size guy, he’s miserable for defenders to tackle and that is usually is a trait that translates very well to the next level.

    I think he’s going to be one of those backs that everyone wonders in a few years why in the world he didn’t go in the first round.

  15. You don’t draft LaMichael James to have him grind four yards off tackle, any more than you did Chris Johnson. He has that kind of explosiveness, he can block some, his hands aren’t bad and while he’s not LeGarrette Blount, he’s not soft by any means. James will have greater effect on games than any other back in this draft, including Richardson. He’s an offense changer.

  16. madenatewell, Martin didn’t begin his career at Boise as a safety, that’s an urban legend. He was a running back during his redshirt year and was the 4th RB in as a RSfreshman behind Ian Johnson, Harper and Avery. He rushed for 107 yds on 24 carries.

    They tried him at nickel during Spring practice, 2009 but moved him back to RB after Harper was injured.

  17. Martin is a fine athlete. BSU briefly moved him to defense just to get him on the field. He’s a violent runner, can block and catch, and stands out on ST. The Muscle Hamster will not be denied his yards.

  18. Martin is totally unproven as he played on a team that plays a VERY weak schedule every year. How can he be compared to RB’s that play ranked teams the majority of the season?

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