4th year veteran selected in the 4th round, 131st overall in the 2016 draft. Played over 98% of the Packers’ defensive snaps, and ranked 2nd in the NFL in total and combined tackles. Martinez has good height and weight for the position, with arms on the shorter side but has big, 10” hands. At 24, Martinez could be the perfect defensive signal caller that allows a team to look elsewhere and address another need in the draft.
Good athleticism for the position; good lateral quickness, continues to work through traffic, keep his balance upon impact, and make progress towards the ball carrier. Uses good speed to work sideline-to-sideline, and does a good job keeping himself clean when OL get to the 2nd level. Good competitive and mental toughness as well; plays to the whistle, makes tackles 20+ yards off the LOS and quickly diagnoses plays to put himself in the best position. Pre-snap reads and signal calling; directs teammates and makes changes at the LOS, and matches what the offense is doing in terms of the chess match. Elite play-recognition; quickly diagnoses misdirection runs, Play Action, and proceeds to take the necessary angle to attack his assigned player. Coverage skills look natural; good discipline dropping into his zone and manning that area. Mirrors QB, and plays with the same good angle of pursuit away from the LOS, that he does when he’s up close. Tackling is a sure thing; keeps a good angle, low pads, and drives through the ball carrier to stop all forward progress. Does a good job taking away the lead blocker on outside run plays. Takes away the blocker, and gives teammates a chance to pursue the ball carrier.
Man-to-man coverage skills are adequate when forced to turn his back towards the QB. Doesn’t possess the foot-speed to make up if caught out of position when covering people out of the backfield, or players downfield.
Blake Martinez is an elite level ILB in this league and is only 24-years old. Martinez has said the Packers have not approached him about an extension, and all indications show he is on the way out. Currently, the top-5 highest paid ILB are, in order, Bobby Wagner, C.J. Mosley, Myles Jack, Deion Jones and Shaq Thompson. Together, the average of the 5 contract is just under $15.5M/year with Wagner making $18M and Thompson $13.54M. C.J. Mosley has the highest percentage guaranteed at 50.6%, and Thompson has the lowest at 29.5%. Wagner and Martinez’s number are very similar in snap counts, tackles, etc. But, it’ll be interesting to see if Martinez gets anything close to what Wagner is getting. It all makes sense to give him close to the $18M, he’s extremely productive, very durable, versatile, and checks all the boxes you want to see from an ILB.