After a promising rookie season as a reserve for the Seattle Seahawks, ex-Temple Owls rusher Jacob Martin has the unfortunate honor of being traded to the Houston Texans for Jadeveon Clowney.
When Jacob Martin was selected 186th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, it marked the first of two Temple Owls to be selected into the fraternal ranks of the NFL alongside seventh-round defensive tackle Jullian Taylor – and needless to say, fans in North Philly were hype.
After four straight seasons of consistent improvement, including a 2018 senior season where he wore the number nine and graced Philly’s Tuff-est number with 11.5 tackles for a loss and eight sacks, Martin finally made it to the NFL – playing for the always in contention Seattle Seahawks no less.
With a reloading roster and only a lame-duck Frank Clark locked into a consistent starting role, Martin flashed encouraging signs as a rookie in Pete Carrol‘s defense, forcing two fumbles and three sacks while hitting opposing quarterbacks eight times.
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And Martin accomplished such a feat while only logging 225 defensive snaps (22.7 percent).
While the additions of Ziggy Ansah and L.J. Collier in free agency and the draft respectively likely would have kept Martin off the field as a down-in, down-out starter, we will never know how his sophomore season in Seattle would have turned out, as the 23-year-old Colorado native was just traded to the Houston Texans.
Alright cool, late-round draftees get traded all the time, no big deal.
However, what – or should I say who – is a big deal is the player Martin was traded for: Former first overall selection Jadeveon Clowney.
Granted, it wasn’t a Martin-for-Clowney straight-up sort of deal, as the Seahawks also had to surrender a third-round pick and a former top-10 pick of their own (or should I say of the Cleveland Browns ) in Barkevious Mingo, but it’s never a good sign to be the ‘focal point’ of a trade for a disgruntled superstar that is already being labeled a robbery in the Emerald City.
I’d dare to say it’s even worse for Martin, as he’s expected to slide into the very spot Clowney vacated after a summer away from the team.
Regardless of how much an anonymous NFL GM gushed about Martin’s motor and seemingly perfect fit in the Texans’ defense, replacing a player of Clowney’s caliber, even if he never quite lived up to the generational hype he garnered coming out of South Carolina, is a tough task for any player, especially a 6-foot-2, 242 pound outside linebacker who’s far from a three-down player.
Fortunately, Martin is used to that kind of adversity.
After spending his first three seasons at Temple as a reserve, Martin finally earned an opportunity to start once 2017 first-round pick Haason Reddick left the City of Brotherly Love for Arizona, and worked his way up from a player with no real NFL prospects to the focal point of a blockbuster trade for a proven star – that’s pretty cool.
If he can avoid any sort of bias associated with how he got to the team, there’s no reason why Josh Martin shouldn’t succeed as a member of the Houston Texans and continue to make Temple Owls fans across the world proud.