Giants’ Micah McFadden bears similarities to Blake Martinez – MMA Fighting

The introduction took place Friday at the Giants’ training facility, as an overachieving NFL inside linebacker met what could be seen as a younger version of himself, in some ways.

Rookie Micah McFadden meets veteran Blake Martinez.

“Obviously everyone wants to play, but I want to be a starter and perform at a high level in this league,” McFadden told The Post on Saturday after the second rookie minicamp practice. “He’s definitely someone I would look up to, and I’m thrilled to learn from a guy like that.”

George Young, the Giants’ former Hall of Fame general manager, used to say there’s no reincarnation when it comes to scouting — a player isn’t reborn into another player. It was his way of refraining from making comparisons, as he was not a fan of the popular game of “Who does this guy remind you of?”

In deference to Young, McFadden, a three-year starter at Indiana and a member of the Giants’ 2022 11-man draft class, is not the second coming of Martinez, the returning starting inside linebacker and defensive pointer. They’re not exactly the same players, but there are undeniable similarities.

Micah McFadden
bill kostrun

Martinez was a fourth-round pick by the Packers in the 2014 draft, with the No. 131 overall pick. McFadden was selected by the Giants in the fifth round as the No. 146 pick.

When Martinez entered the draft from Stanford, he was considered a mid-term prospect. He was seen as an old-fashioned stopper and not the faster, more nervous linebacker of the new era that the league seemed to covet. Limit speed, below average lateral quickness, average awareness dropping cover.

Eight years later, McFadden’s profile, according to scouts, is somewhat similar. Not great range outside of a confined space. Not great agility falling into cover. A little undersized.

Martinez fresh out of college (and now) was listed at 6-foot-2 and 237 pounds. McFadden is 6-1, 240, a bit shorter but bulkier than Martinez. Martinez completed 22 reps on the bench press at the screening combine, McFadden 21.

This is not an exercise in connecting to come up with the assumption that McFadden may turn out to be another Martinez. Stranger things have happened, however.

“I think everyone plays differently, but he’s definitely someone I can learn from and use what he’s learned in the league and how he plays to implement in my game as well,” McFadden said. .

The Giants were drawn to McFadden because he showed a lot of versatility with the Hoosiers. As a two-time team captain, he had 58 tackles (10.5 for loss) and six sacks in 2021 and 77 tackles (15.5 for loss) and 6.5 sacks last season. There’s an athletic skill set to explore as a passing thrower, something new defensive coordinator Wink Martindale loves about his inside linebackers.

Blake Martinez

“Another guy with really good size and speed,” general manager Joe Schoen said. “He was a captain, he is athletic. I think he will help us. He can play inside, outside, and he’s also a good blitzer. Another versatile piece.”

It didn’t take long for Martinez to gain a foothold with the Packers, starting nine games as a rookie, then all 16 regular season games the next three years in Green Bay before signing a three-year, $30 million contract. dollars with the Giants and start all 16 games in 2020. He only came out healthy in the first two games of last season before tearing his ACL in Week 3.

The depth chart at inside linebacker isn’t intimidating. There’s Tae Crowder, the last player picked in the entire 2020 draft, as a returning starter for the former coaching staff. Carter Coughlin, a reserve so far in her career, is entering her third year. McFadden is expected to find an immediate role on special teams, which he described as “10 out of 10” in terms of what he likes and believes he excels on the field.

Micah McFadden
Bill Kostrun /

McFadden agrees with the label that he is a latecomer. His involvement in football started when he was 6 years old, but he admitted: “I just wasn’t good at it.” He didn’t start out as a rookie on the varsity junior team and didn’t become a key member of the defense until his freshman year. Coming out of Plant High School in Tampa, he only received six college offers. Indiana was one of only two Power 5 programs to offer him a scholarship.

“I was kind of overlooked at an early age,” McFadden said. “I think it just puts a chip on your shoulder. You want to improve, everyone wants to play, being overlooked like that makes you want to play even more and it makes you go harder.”

There is a spot on the roster waiting for McFadden and, perhaps, a job in defense alongside Martinez.

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Giants’ Micah McFadden bears similarities to Blake Martinez – MMA Fighting

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