With the 36th pick of Pride of Detroit's 2012 NFL mock draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Boise State running back Doug Martin. Twincities88 is serving as the Buccaneers' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
After having the Buccaneers pass on running back Trent Richardson in the first round in favor of cornerback Morris Claiborne, the opportunity presented itself at pick No. 36 to draft a player who is only the second running back taken in the community mock draft. When looking at the running back position, I felt that Doug Martin has an edge over the other running backs still on the big board, including former Virginia Tech running back David Wilson. With only two running backs under contract (LeGarrette Blount and Mossis Madu), Tampa Bay is looking for a running back who can complement , running between the tackles with the athletic ability to break it outside, and provide security if Blount gets injured.
Doug Martin has a very consistent skill set, not "outstanding" in any particular area, yet highly productive with a nice all-around game. In his junior and senior year at Boise State, Martin combined for 2,559 rushing yards on 474 carries, along with 28 rushing touchdowns and four receiving touchdowns (47 career touchdowns). In the 2011 MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas, Martin returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.
One of Martin's most important strengths may be the fact that he is careful with the ball, which is key for a team that has suffered from constant fumbling from its running backs (Blount in particular). Since Martin also has pass-catching experience, he can provide Josh Freeman with a running back option in dump-off play situations. This is a running back who is said to have terrific character and dedication, and one I could see easily playing early and working well in Greg Schiano's system.
Check out the 2012 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.