The San Francisco 49ers have drafted Southern Cal center Marcus Martin with the No. 70 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Martin was ranked No. 72 among prospects ranked on SB Nation's top 200 big board. He ranked second among all centers, behind only Weston Richburg.
Martin started at left guard as a true freshman, earning 20 starts at the position before being shifted to center as a junior. That was last season, and he was recognized for his strong play by being named a First-Team All-Pac-12 selection. He also started 13 games that season, eventually missing the Las Vegas Bowl against Fresno State due to a dislocated kneecap and ankle sprain.
Martin is a big-bodied player at 6'3 and 320 pounds, but he's routinely given negative marks for not using his considerable size and bulk effectively. NFL.com said that he is a "soft puncher," while Rob Rang of CBS Sports says that he tries too hard to knock defenders down and ends up on the ground himself, which is never a good trait for a center.
He projects as a center in the NFL due to his lack of height. Still, he played the position very well in college, holding his own against some of the top defensive tackles in college football. Martin held his own against Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix without much issue when the two teams met in 2013.
Bench press: 23
40-yard dash (pro day): 5.22
20-yard shuttle run (pro day): 4.93
Martin did not participate in anything but the bench press at the NFL Scouting Combine due to a lower body injury that was being rehabbed. However, he did participate in multiple blocking drills and managed to do the running he needed during his pro day. His 40-yard dash time left a whole lot to be desired, however. Then again, top-flight speed is not necessarily something that one absolutely has to have out of a center.