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.”