To say the Colts are thin at outside WR is an understatement. One of the things that we must find is late round value. The key for these picks will be versatility. Keshawn Martin from Michigan State fits that bill.
Productive as a wideout, returner, rusher and quarterback, Martin had his best season for the Spartans as a senior and also stepped up in the two biggest games of the year. In a rout of in-state rival Michigan, Martin caught 2 TDs and then in the inaugural Big Ten Championship, he had 9 catches for 115 yards.
He return skills were most on display as a punt returner. Never taking one back to the house, but averaging 14.2 and 11.0 per punt return the last two years shows some potential there. On 19 running attempts, he averaged 5.9 yards and had 2 TDs. He played some "wildcat" QB and completed 7 of 8 passes with 2 TDs and 0 INTs throughout his career.
His size is below most of the receivers we've profiled so far, but he can still play both inside and outside. He is most dangerous in space with quick acceleration and "shifty" hips. He needs work with route running as he typically rounds off routes and can drift from time to time. His hands are reliable and he works well at getting separation. He is a project, but could be a good pro in the long run.
After the jump we'll look at what the draft sites say as well as his combine numbers and my thoughts. Don't forget to check out all the potential picks on our 2012 Draft Profiles Page.
A slight, slippery receiver who possesses only average height and needs to continue to add girth to his frame. His ability to create with the ball in his hands gives him a chance and makes him an attractive later round/free agent type wide out. Needs to get a little stronger, but he's explosive, balanced and fluid when asked to break defenders down. Just needs to learn to become a more polished receiver because the tools are there.
Raw, athletic space player with exceptional short-area quickness to create from the slot, as well as threatening deep speed to command respect outside. Is tough and competitive and could be a better pro than college player.
Martin is an explosive mover who is quick off the snap to work into his routes. He's been a two-year starter for Michigan State and has been productive running with the ball after short catches. He can take a bubble screen the distance and uses his pure athletic ability to outmaneuver defenders. He is athletic enough to be the superior guy on an NFL field matching up against most DBs. He is a very good speed-variance route runner who can keep corners on their heels and toes. He has fourth-round value and is such a late riser with a solid, productive Big 10 championship game that he could continue to rise into the late third round.
Here's a video of Mike Mayock talking about Martin.
My take for the Colts -
Martin has been seeing a rise in draft stock lately. Most sites have him listed as a 7th or FA pick. NFL.com say that they could see him in the 3rd. He's got to be late round for me. I want receivers that can run the routes called for our young QB. I do like his return potential and their is upside there. If someone wants to use a third or fourth on him, I won't be sad losing him. If he can be had a value, then I am all for the Colts going for him.