Kareem Martin   DE   North Carolina

TALENT BOARD ROUND 2

STRENGTHS
Kareem has the size, length and athletic talent to be an impact player for the team that selects him. He shows in his workouts good foot speed and nice change of direction agility to get into the backfield to make a sack or tackle a running back. Kareem has those long arms and legs that can make a player coming off the edge be very disruptive and ruin the rhythm of an offense on any play. With his long arms, Kareem has the ability to knock down passes and keep opponents off his body and lower legs. This makes him potentially effective in any style of defensive front and in any style of defensive system. Kareem has excellent athletic potential and, if he can ever match his play on the field to that potential, he will be an impact player.

CONCERNS
Right now, Kareem is seeing what he needs to do on every play and in every situation, but his reaction to what he is seeing is slow. This can be corrected in time with repetition, direction, the right coach and the right defensive system that fits his athletic talent. Kareem also has very poor and inconsistent pass rushing skills. He can shed blocks and make tackles, but is also inconsistent using his long arms to accomplish this task consistently.

BOTTOM LINE
Itís not enough to have the athletic talent if you canít make your body react quickly to what you see. Some people have this talent naturally and some people who may have excellent athletic talent but the reaction skills are lacking. Iím talking about what is called ďlearned reactionĒ. Itís based on repetition and developing habits from that repetition. Right now Kareemís brain has not learned the needed reaction time he needs that will unleash his athletic talent. Itís there and ready to come out, but the question is how long it will take to be effective in game situations. In his defense, you can see him improving but what causes problems in his improvement of his reaction time, is the lack of consistency in using the correct techniques. He sees the play and knows what to do, but doesnít react quickly enough; when he does react quickly, itís a toss-up if he is going to use the correct techniques to finish the play. I think the worst habit and the most difficult habit for Kareem to correct is when he lunges to finish play in the backfield instead of using his agility to change directions or keep his feet moving until he makes the tackle. This habit is causing him problems wrapping up and finishing the play and is the reason his opponents can break his tackles. I donít think Kareem is a boom or bust player -- I think he will be an impact player or just a solid player. His effort and football intelligence are not a question. His reaction time to what he sees and his ability to use his full athletic talent is. Add to that his lack of techniques when rushing the passer or stuffing the run and you have a player with enormous athletic talent that is not playing up to that athletic talent, but not from a lack of work ethic or intelligence. Kareem is the type of player who could sneak into the first round, but for me I think his LTI is long enough to suggest that he might not peak until his first contract is up.

Drew Boylhart
APR/2014