Matt Cashore / IrishIllustrated.com

The Rundown: A Complete Look at the Houston Texans Nick Martin

A closer look at the Houston Texans newest draft pick, Nick Martin.

Nick Martin

The Basics:

  • Position – Center
  • School – Notre Dame
  • Height – 6’4’’
  • Weight – 299 pounds

Combine Results:

  • 40-yard Dash – 5.22 seconds
  • Bench Press – 28 reps 
  • 3 Cone Drill – 7.57 seconds
  • 20 Yard Shuttle Drill – 4.72 seconds
  • Broad Jump – 97 inches

Scouts Take:

Dane Brugler and Rob Rang from CBS Sports:

STRENGTHS 

Solidly-built for the position. Quick set-up off the snap with an assignment sound mindset. Squares well with a balanced base to absorb contact and hold his ground - able to anchor at shallow depth.

Natural lower body flexibility to mirror in short spaces. Very effective on combo blocks, peeling off defenders and picking up rushers. Veteran presence and vision, playing with a high football I.Q. Made all the protection calls and knows how to ID defenders. Two-year team captain with mature leadership traits and intangibles.

Versatile starting experience at both center and guard. Plays through pain with the fortitude for the NFL. Athletic bloodlines.

WEAKNESSES

Ordinary arm length and physical features might limit his versatility in the NFL. Reliable square blocker, but struggles with defenders on his edge and late to recover. Can get caught lunging with his upper body, falling off blocks and ending up out of the play. Not a rangy blocker and needs to improve his reliability as a puller and at the second level. Room to eliminate the unnecessary penalties and play with more discipline. Only had one major injury in college (knee, Nov. 2013), but also played through numerous minor issues over his career so his medical reports are crucial.

Lance Zierlein from NFL.com:

STRENGTHS

Loves to play the game as physically as he can. Plays with a mean streak and then some. Finishes a block with authority if he gets the advantage. Showed ability to anchor and play with strengths against power across from him. Usually first into defender after snap. Despite some hip stiffness, moves fairly well when asked to get out in front of screen plays. Keeps head on a swivel at all times. Aware of both gaps when in pass protection and he's uncovered. Plays with wide base in pass pro. Often first to get hands on pass rusher and will get some extension early in the rep. Gets the most out of average length. Team captain and unchallenged leader up front. Has started at guard and center while at Notre Dame so may offer roster flexibility.

WEAKNESSES

Looks labored in his movement. Stiffness in hips stymies ability to sink and anchor. Leads with upper body too often and plays with weight out over his feet. Needs to bring his feet up under him. Had issues redirecting with power against pass rushers who gained early advantage. Gets jostled around and has to work overtime to stay engaged against powerful players. Will struggle to reach and secure move blocks. Can improve with recognition of blitzes.

BOTTOM LINE

Three-year starter who possesses the leadership, intelligence and toughness that general managers and offensive line coaches look for from their centers. A season ending knee injury in 2013 might have taken away some of his natural bend and athleticism, but Martin's play strength and toughness should make him an early starter in the league at either guard or center.

Pro Football Focus:

Stats to know:

Second-highest pass blocking efficiency among FBS centers (99.1). Fourth-highest grade against Power-5 competition

What he does best:

  • Superb at locating linebackers. Does a great job at keeping his body clean at the line of scrimmage to allow himself to climb to the second level quickly.
  •  Locks in extremely well and doesn’t lose control. Very technically sound with his hand placement.
  • Positional versatility with consistent production over the past two seasons between guard (2014) and center (2015)
  • Looks very smooth changing directions and taking pass sets. Quick to recognize stunts and blitzers

Biggest concern:

  • Not a people mover. Doesn’t have the extra gear to walk with a defensive tackle after locking him out.
  • Gets flatbacked too often versus bull rush and will give ground.
  • Lacks the pop on combo blocks at the line of scrimmage that you’d want from a center in a man scheme.

Bottom line:

Everyone will see the name and production and expect Nick to be a first-year stud like his brother Zack. It could take Nick a little longer with his strength issues, but his upside at center is very high.

My Take:

Not the flashy pick that will move jerseys, but a very solid decision that fills an immediate need and one that I like.

The Houston Texans couldn’t go into this next season with Tony Bergstrom as their starting center after the departure of Ben Jones to the Tennessee Titans. Center along with defensive end and wide receiver were the three biggest needs for the team, so addressing the issue with a solid player like Nick Martin shouldn’t be viewed as anything but positive.

Personally I preferred addressing the defensive line with Andrew Billings a little more with the second round pick, but the depth in this draft is deeper for defensive linemen than it is center, so the Texans can still address that need later.

Strength and movement dropped some for Martin after a 2013 injury, but he does everything you need from a center pretty well. Might not become a five-time All-Pro, but I expect him to be a solid starter for five to eight years and would be shocked if he becomes a bust.

Scouts describe him as smart, aggressive, and a team leader; sounds like someone Bill O’Brien will love.

Scout Videos from DraftBreakdown.com:

2015 vs. Temple

2016 Fiesta Bowl vs. Ohio State

2015 vs. Clemson


State of the Texans Top Stories

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My Take:

\n

Not the flashy pick that will move jerseys, but a very solid decision that fills an immediate need and one that I like.

\n

The Houston Texans couldn’t go into this next season with Tony Bergstrom as their starting center after the departure of Ben Jones to the Tennessee Titans. Center along with defensive end and wide receiver were the three biggest needs for the team, so addressing the issue with a solid player like Nick Martin shouldn’t be viewed as anything but positive.

\n

Personally I preferred addressing the defensive line with Andrew Billings a little more with the second round pick, but the depth in this draft is deeper for defensive linemen than it is center, so the Texans can still address that need later.

\n

Strength and movement dropped some for Martin after a 2013 injury, but he does everything you need from a center pretty well. Might not become a five-time All-Pro, but I expect him to be a solid starter for five to eight years and would be shocked if he becomes a bust.

\n

\n

Scouts describe him as smart, aggressive, and a team leader; sounds like someone Bill O’Brien will love.

\n

\n

\n

Scout Videos from DraftBreakdown.com:

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2015 vs. Temple

\n

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2016 Fiesta Bowl vs. Ohio State

\n

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2015 vs. Clemson

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","mobileBody":"

Nick Martin

The Basics:

Combine Results:

Scouts Take:

Dane Brugler and Rob Rang from CBS Sports:

STRENGTHS

Solidly-built for the position. Quick set-up off the snap with an assignment sound mindset. Squares well with a balanced base to absorb contact and hold his ground - able to anchor at shallow depth.

Natural lower body flexibility to mirror in short spaces. Very effective on combo blocks, peeling off defenders and picking up rushers. Veteran presence and vision, playing with a high football I.Q. Made all the protection calls and knows how to ID defenders. Two-year team captain with mature leadership traits and intangibles.

Versatile starting experience at both center and guard. Plays through pain with the fortitude for the NFL. Athletic bloodlines.

WEAKNESSES

Ordinary arm length and physical features might limit his versatility in the NFL. Reliable square blocker, but struggles with defenders on his edge and late to recover. Can get caught lunging with his upper body, falling off blocks and ending up out of the play. Not a rangy blocker and needs to improve his reliability as a puller and at the second level. Room to eliminate the unnecessary penalties and play with more discipline. Only had one major injury in college (knee, Nov. 2013), but also played through numerous minor issues over his career so his medical reports are crucial.

Lance Zierlein from NFL.com:

STRENGTHS

Loves to play the game as physically as he can. Plays with a mean streak and then some. Finishes a block with authority if he gets the advantage. Showed ability to anchor and play with strengths against power across from him. Usually first into defender after snap. Despite some hip stiffness, moves fairly well when asked to get out in front of screen plays. Keeps head on a swivel at all times. Aware of both gaps when in pass protection and he's uncovered. Plays with wide base in pass pro. Often first to get hands on pass rusher and will get some extension early in the rep. Gets the most out of average length. Team captain and unchallenged leader up front. Has started at guard and center while at Notre Dame so may offer roster flexibility.

WEAKNESSES

Looks labored in his movement. Stiffness in hips stymies ability to sink and anchor. Leads with upper body too often and plays with weight out over his feet. Needs to bring his feet up under him. Had issues redirecting with power against pass rushers who gained early advantage. Gets jostled around and has to work overtime to stay engaged against powerful players. Will struggle to reach and secure move blocks. Can improve with recognition of blitzes.

BOTTOM LINE

Three-year starter who possesses the leadership, intelligence and toughness that general managers and offensive line coaches look for from their centers. A season ending knee injury in 2013 might have taken away some of his natural bend and athleticism, but Martin's play strength and toughness should make him an early starter in the league at either guard or center.

Pro Football Focus:

Stats to know:

Second-highest pass blocking efficiency among FBS centers (99.1). Fourth-highest grade against Power-5 competition

What he does best:

Biggest concern:

Bottom line:

Everyone will see the name and production and expect Nick to be a first-year stud like his brother Zack. It could take Nick a little longer with his strength issues, but his upside at center is very high.

Nick Martin recorded the fifth-highest overall grade at center in 2015. pic.twitter.com/REN1GRBxna

— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 30, 2016

My Take:

Not the flashy pick that will move jerseys, but a very solid decision that fills an immediate need and one that I like.

The Houston Texans couldn’t go into this next season with Tony Bergstrom as their starting center after the departure of Ben Jones to the Tennessee Titans. Center along with defensive end and wide receiver were the three biggest needs for the team, so addressing the issue with a solid player like Nick Martin shouldn’t be viewed as anything but positive.

Personally I preferred addressing the defensive line with Andrew Billings a little more with the second round pick, but the depth in this draft is deeper for defensive linemen than it is center, so the Texans can still address that need later.

Strength and movement dropped some for Martin after a 2013 injury, but he does everything you need from a center pretty well. Might not become a five-time All-Pro, but I expect him to be a solid starter for five to eight years and would be shocked if he becomes a bust.

Scouts describe him as smart, aggressive, and a team leader; sounds like someone Bill O’Brien will love.

Scout Videos from DraftBreakdown.com:

2015 vs. Temple

[YOUTUBE:yIBTp71O5HQ]

2016 Fiesta Bowl vs. Ohio State

[YOUTUBE:v2kavK6thZY]

2015 vs. Clemson

[YOUTUBE:0eTGexyvwwQ]

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