Stanford OT Jonathan Martin calls himself best in the draft

Stanford’s Jonathan Martin may not receive the top billing as the best offensive tackle at the NFL Combine according to the scouting services. Scouts Inc. has him rated as the third-best tackle behind USC’s Matt Kalil and Iowa’s Riley Reiff, and some mock drafts have Martin going mid-first round.

But Martin on Thursday declared himself the best tackle in the NFL Draft.

“Without a doubt,” Martin said. “As a competitor, you’ve got to think you’re the best. Matt [Kalil] is a tremendous player, but I think I’m better than he is. It’s nothing cocky about it. It’s just how I approach my game when I’m preparing for an event like this.

“I’m an athletic tackle, I’m smart, I don’t make many mistakes, and that’s helped me a lot the last couple years,” said the 6-foot-6, 312-pound Martin, who on Wednesday night had an informal interview with Redskins offensive line coach Chris Foerster, and had a round of interviews scheduled for Thursday night.

In addition to his athleticism and mental fortitude, Martin believes that playing in Stanford’s pro-style offense has made him more NFL-ready than other tackles in the draft.

“I think it sets you up really nicely. We were balanced about 60-40 run to pass, West Coast system, a lot of our calls were the same as [NFL] calls, so that really sets you up well,” Martin said. “]I learned] how to work and absorb a playbook because our playbook was probably more advanced than some NFL playbooks. So, just how to process all that and prepare weekly game-plans.”

Martin credited former coach Jim Harbaugh and former offensive coordinator Greg Roman – both now with the 49ers – for his preparation. “I think Coach Roman is a tremendous coordinator, Coach Harbaugh is an amazing coach,” he said.

Although Stanford’s line used a gap scheme the majority of the time, Martin said zone schemes were used from time to time, so he wouldn’t anticipate much of a learning curve if selected by a team like the Redskins.

Washington has a need at right tackle, and although he played left tackle for Stanford, Martin wouldn’t have a problem with switching sides in the NFL.

“Doesn’t bother me at all. I think I can play any position,” Martin said. “Wherever a coach wants me, I’ll be ready to play. I’ve had a couple calls about playing right tackle, but I’m open to anything.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.


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