Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Friday, April 27, 2012
Reasons Bucs wanted Martin in first round

By Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- General manager Mark Dominik and coach Greg Schiano just spoke about Boise State running back Doug Martin, who they drafted with the 31st overall pick Thursday night.

Funny, but they described him pretty much the way they did when talking about Alabama safety Mark Barron, who they took at No. 7 overall. They described him as a leader, team captain and a guy who played for a very successful college program. In other words, he fits the profile of the new "Buccaneer Man."

Doug Martin
New Bucs coach Greg Schiano is excited about "the totality of what" Doug Martin can do.
That’s great. The Bucs needed to add things like character and leadership. They also needed to add something to a backfield that had LeGarrette Blount and not much else.

Schiano used the phrases “all-around back’’ and “the totality of what he can do’’ in describing Martin. That’s significant. Blount has some good qualities (power running), but struggled as a pass blocker and receiver the past two seasons. Schiano also used the term “three-down back’’ about Martin. In other words, Blount will still have a role, but Martin is going to spend more time on the field.

Schiano smiled as he was asked if Martin reminded him of Baltimore’s Ray Rice, who he coached at Rutgers.

“I do see some of it,’’ Schiano said. “To tell you the truth I do. I see a guy who runs hard and plays hard.’’

There was one other ulterior motive in giving up their second-round choice and a fourth-round pick in return for the right to take Martin at the end of the first round, while sliding down to later in the fourth round.

Dominik pointed to the new collective bargaining agreement. In that, first-round picks can sign five-year contracts. Players taken after the first round can’t sign deals longer than four years.

Sounds like the Bucs are planning on having Martin around for a long time.