I wasn’t surprised when Jartavius Martin was picked in the 2023 NFL Draft, but I was surprised by how high he was selected.
Martin would have a great career with the Illini. He would earn All-Big Ten second and third team by various outlets during his senior season. These honors were earned on the field, as Martin would be one of the driving forces behind a great Illinois defense.
As a senior, Martin would have his best year with the Orange and Blue. He finished 2022 with 64.0 tackles, 11.0 pass deflections, 3.0 interceptions, 3.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 forced fumbles, and 1.0 sacks.
Despite Martin being projected as a late third-round draft pick, at best, by many outlets, the Washington Commanders saw something more in this talented defensive back. They would pick Martin No. 47 overall in the second round.
Washington Commanders depth chart projection – Jartavius Martin
Training camp is being held right now, and heading into the first preseason game here in the next week or so, the Commanders have Martin slotted in as the second-string free safety. He is behind Darrick Forrest.
Forrest had a good 2022 campaign with 88 tackles and four interceptions. Overall, Washington has a good pass defense. They ranked No. 8 in the NFL in pass coverage last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
The fact that the Commanders would take another defensive back in the second round shows you how much they like Martin. My guess is that Martin will probably start the season and play most of 2023 in the second string. That isn’t a bad thing, though. I bet he gets decent snaps, and he will be there in case of any injuries. This is a good position for Martin to be in as a rookie.