faThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a team on the rise, and one of the players who will look to help them take the next step in 2013 is Doug Martin. After a solid rookie season for the Buccaneers, which included a few spectacular games, the former Boise State Bronco is ready to step it up a notch.
Coming out of college, most scouts saw a lot of potential in him, but few could have expected that he would mesh so well with Tampa Bay from the beginning. The only real weakness he showed in year one was his inability to be extremely consistent. He had five games with 100 or more rushing yards, including a 251-yard performance against Oakland. However, he also had five games with 60 or less rushing yards.
When people look at Martin, they see a guy with average to below average height (5’9”) and speed (4.55 40-yard dash coming out of college). What measurables do not show though is a player’s ability to create space and spot holes in the defense. Martin is able to be consistent and break off huge plays by being smart with his reads. He has also shown durability, and his low center of gravity might help him a bit in that regard.
What will ultimately set him apart from other running backs in his age group is his ability to be both a running and receiving threat. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield, and his ability to run in the open-field can be beneficial on third downs. He caught at least two passes in every game but one in 2013, and his 472 receiving yards should only go up this season.
After Adrian Peterson, the title of “second-best running back” is pretty much up for grabs right now and it would not be a huge surprise to see Martin go as second RB when your fantasy football league drafts in August. Out of the other top running backs in the league (Arian Foster, Ray Rice, Marshawn Lynch, etc.), Martin has the skill and the upside for a very special career.