The New York Giants have one of the best inside linebackers in the league in Blake Martinez – but he might be underrated still when compared to others. Martinez, of course, went under the radar as a good addition until the season started and he proved himself on the field.
Many thought the Giants were overpaying and doubted the move, but Martinez went on to register 151 tackles and 3 sacks in his debut season.
His numbers last year placed him with some of the position’s top tacklers, but Martinez still comes in relatively low in this year’s linebacker rankings from Pro Football Focus.
16. Blake Martinez, New York Giants
Only Zach Cunningham and Lavonte David have racked up more defensive stops over the past two seasons than Blake Martinez, whose first season with the Giants was a career-best for him in terms of overall PFF grade (75.9). He notched 57 defensive stops and forced two fumbles for the Giants, and he’ll look to build on that and be even better in 2021.
To be fair, the list involves more than just inside linebackers. Part of the reason why Martinez falls outside the top fifteen is competition from pass rushing outside linebackers.
Still, even including OLBs, the number looks low considering Martinez’s performance last season which saw him competing with some of the leading LBs in the league statistically as well as helping the Giants make a big improvement on the interior compared to previous years.
Going into this season, though, Martinez might have a chance to get more recognition. He is, after all, entering the year already having proved himself last season. The league in general will be more aware of Martinez’s ability, so we’ll see soon enough if he can keep up his standard of play from 2020.