Mel Kiper's latest big board is out and once again it's Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin on the move. After dropping from sixth to seventh last week, Martin was back in the six-hole. Best guess is that when the running backs go for 446 yards against a defense that had been allowing less than 100 yards per game, the offensive line is probably going to get a little recognition.
Trusted in the passing game as the blindside protection for [Andrew] Luck, Martin does a great job in the run game given his athleticism, and Stanford has benefited. He gets to the second level, and moves so well.
Left tackles were a hot topic this week on the Farm because Stanford travels to face USC, which boasts its own marquee left tackle in Matt Kalil, who ranks No. 2 on Kiper's Big Board. Of course, Luck maintained his top spot and we shouldn't expect him to slide anytime soon.
Kiper's take on Kalil:
He'll remind you of former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long, an athletic left tackle who has the full set of skills, able to move his feet and hands well as a pass-blocker, then move defenders in the run game. Elite.
Luck was asked about Martin this week and, seeing as he's only been sacked twice this season, he had nothing but good things to say.
"You don't want to be constantly looking over your shoulder," Luck said. "There is a level of trust and confidence and he does a great job every day. He goes to work. It's an honor to be able to play behind him."
Head coach David Shaw also weighed in on Martin.
"For the head coach and quarterback, it helps them sleep at night," he said. "It's the reason they made a movie ("The Blind Side"). It's the premier position on the offensive line for a right-handed quarterback. [Luck] knows he doesn't have to be peeking over his shoulder on a drop-back pass, he can keep his eyes down the field. If there is any leakage or pressure in his face, Andrew can move the pocket. [USC quarterback Matt] Barkley can do it as well."
If there was one criticism from professional scouts regarding Martin, it's that his run blocking was a step behind his pass blocking.
"He's gotten better," Shaw said. "I think the last two or three games he's been a lot more physical and finished runs down the field. We don't pay too much attention to what NFL scouts say. For us, he's been great and he's got a big challenge this week and I know he'll be up for it."