Football: Mustangs' Vaughn Martin bolting for San Diego

It was no risk at all Vaughn Martin to declare for the NFL draft. It's a great day for him, first and foremost, getting drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fourth round, 113th overall. It's a great day for Canadian university football, too.

He is an outlier, since 330-pound men who are hostile, mobile and agile don't come along too often in Canadian university football. Point being, defy anyone to find a downside to having an underclassman drafted by the NFL out of CIS. It's a good advertisement for the game, as far as most media and fans are concerned.

(And a commenter called it!)

The National Football Post, on behalf of Yahoo! Sports, says:
"Martin is one of the most intriguing talents in this draft. He's a massive 6-foot-3, 330-pound nose tackle who played the past year in Canada. But he is a gifted athlete who has the makings of a potential steal and the guy who could take over for Jamal Williams in the coming years."
Williams is 33, for anyone interested.

It helped Martin that the 3-4 defence (three down linemen, four linebackers; most pro and collegiate teams in Canada run a 4-3) has enjoyed a renaissance in the NFL. At the start of this decade, it seemed like a football anachronism and has almost disappeared from the NFL.

Half a dozen teams use the 3-4 full-time and a couple others are working it into their defences, since it gives them another fleet defender. Martin seems to have the physical specs, namely the size and longish arms to help hold off blockers.

San Diego's roster seems to reflect that with interior defensive linemen, it really doesn't matter what school you attended. Three of their DLs, Jacques Cesaire (Southern Connecticut St.), Andre Coleman (Albany) Keith Grennan (Eastern Washington) played below the NCAA's top division.

The Chargers also have their share of small-school or "project" players. Their all-everything tight end, Antonio Gates, is a converted basketball player. Starting wide receiver Vincent Jackson played at Northern Colorado, a Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1-AA) school.

As for the impact on Western, the Mustangs are relatively well-stocked in the middle of the defensive line. Mike Van Praet, who tips the Toledos at 300 lbs., entering his sophomore season after playing as a true freshman in 2008. Chris Greaves, listed at 6-foot, 275 lbs., would be entering his fourth season. Greg Best was limited to two games last fall, but he was nimble enough to occasionally serve as a blocking back for Randy McAuley during the 2007 season.
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  1. Interesting story and solid publicity for CIS football. Should be interesting to see when he gets a chance to play on a regular basis.

  2. Lost in all this is Jamall Lee signing a free agent deal with the Panthers.