The San Francisco 49ers added USC center Marcus Martin, inside linebacker Chris Borland and guard Brandon Thomas in day two of the 2014 NFL Draft. There is definitely a theme that the 49ers are establishing. It is all about being physical in the NFC West and the 49ers added some players to do just that.
Martin is an athletic center that can play guard also. He was the last man to come out of the green room at the NFL Draft but he couldn’t have landed in a better place. “This was the No. 1 center on my board. This is a big-bodied kid who fits exactly what San Francisco is … a big, powerful, run-the-football kind of team.” — Mike Mayock
Martin can come in and challenge for a starting spot at center. He is also capable of playing guard. He told me during his draft press conference that he promises to be one of the most physically dominant players on the field and do everything in his power to be nasty. That mentality will be just what he needs to go against the rugged NFC West defensive fronts. Martin said that he is VERY excited to get the chance to play in such a physical division.
He will work on the interior part of a very tough group of linemen. He has experience playing left guard, center and right guard.
Martin initially expected to be a late first round pick but the picks just kept going and he was still on the board. When the 49ers called him he said he was excited, happy and blessed. Martin said his family: his mother, his father and one of his closest friends helped him work through the wait.
Chris Borland is a pure football player that started 45 games at Wisconsin. He won’t wow anyone in shorts and t shirts but everything changes when he steps onto the football field. Borland plays the game as hard as anyone. “That is such a Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh selection. In a division of hardheads, the 49ers have added a thundering hardhead. He’s to short. He’s too slow. I don’t care, he can play.”
– Mike Mayock
Borland will primarily contribute on special teams. His ability to instinctively flow to the ball will make him a solid addition to all core special teams. His 15 career forced fumbles are second-most in FBS history. He has over 400 tackles on his career.
Brandon Thomas is a player that would have went in the second round if he didn’t injure his knee during a private workout for the New Orleans Saints. He was a three year starter at left tackle for Clemson. He was first-team All-ACC twice. Thomas has received high praise for how he held his own against Jadeveon Clowney without help.
This is a pick that may not have any luster now but could have a huge payoff down the line if Mike Iupati or Alex Boone leave via free agency. Thomas is not likely to play in 2014 but is the exact same kind of pick as last year when the 49ers got tremendous value by drafting and stashing normally higher rated prospects if healthy.