2014: Kareem Martin
Remember everyone, role players are people too.
Kareem Martin was the choice of the Arizona Cardinals with the 84th pick of the 2014 draft. Mike Mayock called him a “starting base end in the NFL.” He led his position at the NFL Combine with a 129 inch broad jump. Though the jump isn’t exactly a skill that is used on game day, that type of strength in the legs shows an explosion that should translate well to the NFL football field.
Unfortunately it hasn’t translated into much action for the young player. Martin has been active for 40 games in his career and started only four of them. Sometimes, a bench player can find a “niche”, or a specific role that they would play, still allowing them a fair amount of playing time. That has not yet happened for Martin and he has been able to amass a mere 27 tackles in his career, though he has forced three fumbles.
Bruce Arians, however, has seen enough to keep Martin around. At times he has been opportunistic, forcing three fumbles in his career to date. He could be looking towards and expanded role. Other than Chandler Jones and Jarvis Jones, the Cardinals outside linebacker group is not big. If Arians sees something in his young player, he could look to carve out more time for Martin to see the field in 2017 and beyond.