Linebacker Jacob Martin proved himself as a solid rotational pass rusher for the Texans this season. Martin is aiming to make an even bigger contribution. According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Martin plans to bulk up and put on some weight this offseason in hopes he can play a more expanded role along Houston’s defensive front.
Listed at 6-2, 242 pounds, Martin was ineffective against the run in early down situations. However, he’s shown an effective ability as an edge pass rusher on long third downs. Still, Martin was on the field for just 21% of the Texans' defensive snaps last season. In that limited sample, Martin managed 11 combined tackles, seven quarterback hits, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Houston acquired Martin from the Seahawks last year alongside Barkevious Mingo and a 2020 third-round pick for defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Many panned Houston’s decision to wait as long as it did to trade Clowney (who had been franchised for the entirety of the offseason). Several defensive linemen such as Dee Ford and Frank Clark had been in similar situations to Clowney, but were traded early in the offseason and each recouped greater draft compensation than Houston received for Clowney.
Mingo a former top pick, has yet to be more than a role player in Houston and is unlikely at his age (29) to amount to much more than that. Martin, on the other hand, was selected by the Seahawks in the sixth round out of Temple two years ago and just turned 24 in December.
While it still appears the Texans did not extract maximum value for Clowney, if Martin can take another step in his development, Houston could still be satisfied with its return.