#15, Martin Nance, WR
(6043, 212, 4.53-4.62) Miami, Ohio
Personal: Born 5/26/83, in Maryland Heights, Missouri, where he played football at Pattonville High School. Caught 42 passes for 612 yards as a senior wide receiver and added 6 interceptions as a cornerback; set school record for interceptions in a game (3). Also earned all-state honors as a junior in track and field, running in the 4x100- and 4x200-meter relays at the state meet and posted a 10.7 100-meter time. Parents are Jerome and Swayzine Nance. His cousin, Todd Jenkins, was a wide receiver at Northwestern (1980-83). Became a licensed realtor in 2008 and also got married (wife, Minya) during the past offseason.
College: Redshirted in 2001. Saw action in 10-of-12 games, catching 10 passes for 158 yards in 2002. Shattered Miami’s single-seson receiving record in 2003; catching 90 passes for 1,498 yards; earned GMAC bowl Offensive MVP honors catching 9-169-1. Was the team’s leading receiver with 25 catches for 337 yards and one touchdown until suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2004. Came back to finish with 81 catches for 1,107 yards and 14 touchdowns as Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite target with the Redhawks in 2005. Worked with former Vikings QB Warren Moon during a college internship. Majored in accounting.
Pre-draft workout numbers: Posted a 1.59 10-yard dash, 2.65 20-yard dash, 4.58 40-yard dash, 33 ½-inch vertical jump, 10’-1” broad jump, 4.08 short shuttle, 6.91 three-cone drill and a Wonderlic score of 30.
Pro: Originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Buffalo Bills following the 2006 NFL Draft. Released by Buffalo, signed to the Vikings practice squad, where he spent most of his rookie season; activated for the final two games, including a start in the regular-season finale, catching 4 passes for 33 yards. A final roster cut by the Vikings last summer (2007), he spent the entire season on Minnesota’s practice squad.
Positives: A playmaker with great size and athleticism. Good jumping ability. Makes some outstanding, acrobatic grabs. Nearly unstoppable in one-on-one situations. Wins most jump balls. Can pluck the ball. Above-average, deceptive straight-line speed. Can get downfield and make plays vertically. Will go across the middle. Runs precise pass routes. Very intelligent, hard worker with top character. Understands the game.
Negatives: Does not possess much suddenness, separation quickness or top-end sustained speed. Drops some catchable passes.
Summary: Good enough to make it as a No. 4 or No. 5 receiver, but isn’t able to contribute in any way on special teams. If pressed into action, however, there’s little doubt he would make plays and be quite productive.
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