Ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft, let’s look at Florida Gators offensive guard Martez Ivey and his strengths, weaknesses, and New York Jets draft prediction.
Martez Ivey was expected to be one of the SEC’s most polarizing players. In his senior season, the Gators offensive line ranked third in the SEC and 20th overall protecting quarterback Feleipe Franks.
Ivey is the type of teammate every great player wants to play beside. He buys into the canons of the program. He’s that guy who studies the game, comes to practice every day, leads by example and holds himself accountable.
So, let’s look closer at Ivey’s strengths, weaknesses and if he makes sense for the New York Jets.
Last seasons’ rushing juggernaut teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers all benefited from the run protection that created gaps for their star running backs. Here is where Ivey excels as run protection is his cash cow.
As a versatile offensive lineman, he has lined up as both a guard and tackle. No, he’s not an overpowering and imposing force, yet, more often than not, his presence is felt as he pushes defenders outside, making key blocks that create open spaces up the seam.
At 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds, Ivey uses his strong hands and 36 ¼” arm span to push linemen around and out of the backfield. Last season, creating opportunities for Gator running backs, he opened lanes for number two back Jordan Scarlett‘s 776-yard season. The Gators rushed for 20 TD’s on the season as well.
Ivey reads the defense well and is able to process schemes and changes successfully. He’s the proverbial student of the game and an asset that makes what he lacks often in mechanics and physicality worth the investment.
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At times, when watching Ivey on film, there’s a nagging question of whether he’s playing full throttle. Particularly during pass plays is when he appears out of sync as if his upper body is moving faster than his feet.
Lined up at tackle against more physical, imposing, and explosive edge rushers are where we clearly see the cracks and inconsistencies. This portion of Ivey’s game illuminates the raw and underdeveloped areas in his lower body strength, footwork and hand mechanics that often are exploited. Per cfbfilmroom.com, Ivey punctuated his 121 penalty yards by allowing 16 hurries, 10 QB hits, and five sacks during his junior and senior seasons.
Though Ivey screams of potential, conversely, he screams of issues that if not tweaked could become a silent killer to his new NFL quarterback.
NEW YORK JETS PREDICTION
It’s past the time for the Jets to get their A-team on the O-Line. As a result, free agency begins on March 13 and this is where we should expect the magic to happen. Plugging in the holes with veteran pieces makes the most sense for the Jets 2019 season. The best team for Ivey would be a team with an unattested luxury of building through the draft.