The New England Patriots are in desperate need of safety help heading into the 2012 NFL Draft, and one name to watch is Oklahoma State's Markelle Martin. According to Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman, the Patriots were one of six teams represented at Martin's individual Pro Day on Tuesday, along with the Titans, Colts, Jaguars, Buccaneers, and Falcons. In addition, Slater reports that Martin has taken one individual visit, and that was with the Patriots.
Martin is considered by many to be one of the top safety prospects in the draft, although his stock has taken a hit as of late. Standing at 6'1" and 207 lbs, Martin could not partake in any timing drills during the combine, as he was recovering from a knee injury. Nonetheless, Martin has a great combination of size and athleticism for the free safety position. He's a high character and tough player, is physical, can cover from sideline to sideline, can match up against receivers in man coverage, and has decent ball skills. Unfortunately, he isn't always consistent in taking angles and can miss tackles in run support.
Overall, Martin is one of the more well-rounded safeties in this year's draft class. He likely will never be a Pro Bowl caliber player, but he could definitely become a solid starter for the Patriots secondary, who could provide instant depth as a rookie. Martin could come off the board as high as the second round, but is projected by many to land in the third round range.