Football IQ - He seems play development reasonably well and has shown a good feel for staying leveraged on multiple gaps or in the MOF in shallow zones and not bailing out to cost his defense. Disciplined play. Like what he offers in navigating the box, too — he excels in tight quarters combat.
Tackling - If he's able to catch you flush, he's going to put you on your back. Explosive hitting power in linear contact and will wallop opposing quarterbacks in the pocket as a blitzer. His finishing skills are tempered by his short area movement skills and mobility to effectively mirror.
Block Shedding - Not sure he's ever going to consistently stack and shed to cover multiple gaps but has heavy hands and pads, cracks horns with OL and stun before looking to rip through contact and continue pursuit. At his best down hill and if he's charged with winning laterally, he'll lose some of his pop and effectiveness.
Competitive Toughness - Appreciate his tone setting presence in the MOF. He's got some potent stuns of blockers and tackles alike, his functional play strength is where it needs to be to serve as a dirty work LB. His effort is admirable as well and he should be able to serve value on special teams coverage units as well.
Lateral Mobility - He's not super fluid and shows some tightness in his hips during zone drops or when trying to scrape and flow laterally. Not sure you'd want him to try to lean up for more mobility either, just let him trigger down hill and protect him with rangy LBs in the rest of the group if you want him on run D.
Coverage Skills - Little value here. He's smart enough to not chase routes in front of his face and has some reach at his disposal but he's very linear and doesn't have the same appeal when he's tasked with going anywhere other than forward. Wouldn't endorse a role matching up with backs or TEs or slot receivers in man.
Gap Shooting Ability - Some false steps rob him of ability to quickly drive down hill — he's more of a build up speed player and his quickness isn't where it needs to be to have him serve a high impact role here. There's good processing and he gains ground effectively out of his read steps but won't make a ton of splash plays on the other side of the LOS.
Feet/COD - Not his most appealing quality. He struggles when he has to plant and drive or push himself in any direction, even forward. Hip tightness robs him of steep range of motion in the lower half, which then in turn cuts down on his ability to transition quickly or take effective drop step.
Flexibility - He's a straight line player, first and foremost. Appreciate his even keeled approach to other reps and he won't overextend himself or play recklessly — but that just means that the range and dynamic play is watered down to only the most basic of reps as a finisher or as a blitzer.
First Step Explosiveness - While his transition out of read step isn't the most explosive, it doesn't take him long to really generate some power in short spaces once he's established his momentum out of his stance. Has ability to crash through late blocks or contact due to force produced, which comes in useful when triggering into A or B gaps.
Best Trait - Competitive Toughness
Worst Trait - Flexibility
Best Film - Nebraska (2019)
Worst Film - Iowa (2019)
Red Flags - None
Player Summary - Kamal Martin projects as an inside linebacker in an odd front system, where he can play the role of a downhill thud linebacker and plug up gaps. Martin appears to lack the mobility and range to be a sufficient defender in space at the NFL level and as such, pairing him with another ILB and asking him to attack gaps down hill will keep him in his wheelhouse. This is a potential early down defender at the NFL level who should by no means be regularly on the field for 3rd and 6+.