Cardinals take Kareem Martin in 3rd

May, 9, 2014
5/09/14
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TEMPE, Ariz. -- The pick: Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina

My take: Arizona has been in need of an improved pass-rusher, but Martin might not provide the instant upgrade the Cards were searching for. He has the size and strength -- and his numbers are similar to Jadeveon Clowney's, but that's where the comparisons should end -- to eventually turn into a dominant pass-rusher, but Martin has too many areas of concern to provide an instant impact. He's versatile and is willing to learn different positions. He played mostly with his hand in the dirt in a 4-2-5 defense in college.

Building for the future: If he keeps his head in the playbook, Martin will find a way onto the field as a rookie, possibly on special teams. His impact on defense might not be felt for a few more seasons. He has the size to compete in the NFL, and he's still growing, but there are too many holes in his game to see the field on a regular basis. As a rookie, Martin will have the luxury of learning behind another tall lineman, Calais Campbell, which can aid in his growth as much as anything. If the Martin project pans out, it'll be a long-term feather in GM Steve Keim's cap.

What's next: If the Cardinals continue to pick on need, as it appears they will, a defensive lineman, linebacker and possibly a running back could be in store in the Cards' final three picks.

Josh Weinfuss

ESPN Arizona Cardinals reporter

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