I figure with this being my last column of the year, I would check up one of the more notable Boise State Bronco alums currently making a name in the NFL: Doug Martin.
Selected 31st overall in the 2012 NFL Draft from a trade by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a bit of skepticism, including myself, went into whether or not his game would transfer to the professional level. Well, maybe it was just me. ESPN’s Todd McShay had him coming out late in the first round and his colleague, Mel Kiper Jr. stated that Martin would have, alongside Carolina’s Luke Kuechly, the biggest impact as 1st round rookies on their team.
All fantastic hype for the former Bronco in making such a leap, but really how good were the sports Nostradamuses in prediction Martin’s success? Like third leading rusher in the NFL good? All signs point to doubtful.
As of Week 14, Martin sits nicely behind All-Pro Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson and the Skittles-fueled Seattle Seahawk Marshawn Lynch as the third leading running back in the NFL, if I can’t reiterate that enough. His numbers? 1,234 yards rushing, 4.7 yards a carry, 10 touchdowns and only one fumble. Players strive for those numbers at the end of a season. Martin still has three games left.
Let’s not discount his receiving numbers, either, a trait that he touted through his days working through the NFL Combine. 35 receptions for 378 yards and a score, good as the team’s third leading receiver. Jaw-dropping.
It would be an understatement to say that this is a record-breaking season for the Oakland, Calif. native. Martin broke the Buccaneers’ single game rushing mark against Oakland on Nov. 4, running for 251 yards and four touchdowns on the day. Martin is also only the second player in NFL history to have run for over 250 yards and four touchdowns in a game. And it shouldn’t come as a shock that Martin should surpass James Wilder’s 28 year old record as the Bucs’ single season rushing leader at 1,544.
No.3 overall pick, Cleveland Browns’ Trent Richardson, isn’t having too bad of a season either, currently at 869 yards rushing, but only at 3.5 yards a carry. The running back taken shortly after Martin, New York Giants’ David Wilson, has just a mere 211 yards on the season. Seems like Tampa Bay took home the reward on their trade.
While it may be only one season thus far, and an incomplete one at that, it’s hard to discount what Martin has done for the organization and could be a legitimate offensive threat for years to come. All you can say is that you saw on it on the Blue first.