Possible replacement if Best can't keep playing, or just a solid insurance pickup??I am not rooting for the part where Best is unable to continue his playing career. When healthy, he has always been one of my favorite players to watch. Having said that, if he is forced out, and if there are still concerns about LeShoure coming off of a very serious achilles injury, I can think of worse things than Martin coming in and teaching Detroit how to Dougie. Having been a student there and an Idaho resident most of my life, I may be a huge BSU homer, but that in no way takes away from the indisputable fact that this kid is NFL-ready like you wouldn't believe.
Not only does he run a 4.4, but he is built like the hulk and could take the pounding required of a feature back. He's been included on the annual 'Freaks List ' twice. Combine his forty time with a 405 lb bench and a 530 lb parallel squat, and it's easy to see why. That kind of muscle armor translates to a lot of durability and a ton of broken tackles, as his college career has amply proven.
Currently he's at the Senior Bowl, and from all the reviews I've read, is the most complete RB there. He's what I would describe as a 'jack of all trades, master of most' type player. Aside from running with just the right combination of speed, power, and elusiveness, he's demonstrated to NFL scouts that he can get open and catch passes as well as a lot of wide receivers. Probably even more important however, is that he has been the best running back there in terms of pass blocking, routinely stuffing would-be disruptors of the backfield.
He is a player of extremely high and interesting character. He was lightly recruited coming out of high school because he was more interested in being a computer nerd than an athlete, and only made it on Boise's radar because of a phenomenal senior season after most of the bigger schools had already extended offers to all the blue chip recruits and couldn't fathom extending a scholarship to a player that was listed by Scout.com and Rivals.com as a 2 star talent. Obviously this was incorrect, as he was pressed into action as soon as possible, no matter what it took. The coaches were so excited by his talent and ferocity that instead of having him ride pine behind the former All American, Ian Johnson, they put him on the field...as a spy backer on defense. Through all this, he not only did it with a smile, he excelled. The next year, he finally got his first shot to play tailback as the number two, four games into the season, and still finished with 750+ yards and 14 TDs. After that he had consecutive 1200+ yard seasons with 12+ TDs and a respectable amount of receptions and TD catches.
Last year I couldn't have been more excited when the LIons first second round pick was announced, by the man who is the REASON I'm a lifelong Lions fan (Barry Sanders). This year I would be similarly ecstatic if it somehow worked out that I could continue actively cheering for what has been one of my favorite college players of the last few years, like Titus was last year. I'd say that pick worked out pretty well, didn't it?
As a final thought, check out the Mlive article of the Lions interviewing him, watch the clips, and try to tell me you wouldn't want to see this guy in honolulu blue. Unfortunately, not included is highlights of the second half of this season, or the bowl game, where he returned the opening kickoff for a TD and then went for another 150 yards and a TD on the ground (bowl record 300+ yards for the game)
Pay particular attention to the play at 4:25 in the second video (links in the article^^) and the play right after it. Those plays perfectly show how absolutely lethal he is with just a good block or two. Enjoy the player that Bronco Nation has affectionately named 'The Muscle Hamster' :)