Edge-rusher Jacob Martin was once known as part of the package sent to the Houston Texans from the Seattle Seahawks for Jadeveon Clowney. Now, he’s making noise in his new stomping grounds with the Jets.
Martin is starting his first season with Gang Green and his fifth season overall in the NFL. He was originally drafted by the Seahawks in the sixth round in 2018 out of Temple. He appeared in all 16 games as a rookie, recording three sacks and two forced fumbles.
He was then traded to the Texans in the deal that brought Clowney to Seattle. In three seasons in Houston, Martin played in 45 games, including 14 starts last season. He had 10.5 sacks throughout the three years.
Now, he gets another fresh start with the Jets and is making an early impression on the team. The Athletic’s Zach Rosenblatt named him as one of six “bubble players” who have helped themselves so far in training camp.
Martin, signed as a free agent from the Texans this offseason, has outplayed both of them. He hasn’t “sacked” the quarterback as much as Huff, but he’s provided plenty of pressure and the Jets coaching staff values his versatility. He had four sacks and two QB hits for the Texans last year — and he received practically equal snaps lining up from the left and right sides.
“The way he operates, he is so calculated in the way he approaches everything that he does,” defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said. “There is a specific thing he is working on every single play, every single day… What I’m starting to learn about him — obviously, you watch the tape and you see the strain and you see the effort, you see the explosion, the speed. You saw that. We all knew that. What you didn’t know is the brain. What you didn’t know is the man he is. So, I think he’s going to really give us the opportunity to open up the playbook a little bit and take advantage of his versatility.”
Martin is also excited for the opportunity to play a true defensive end and hopes to shed the “situational pass rusher” label.
“I’m really blessed to be here, to be given the opportunity to play defensive end,” Martin said, via Jets’ team reporter Ethan Greenberg. “I’ve played true defensive end my entire career from high school through college and I dominated the competition. So, there’s nothing new for me here. To have that opportunity to put my hand in the ground and get nasty with offensive tackles around the league.”
Martin had his best season in 2021 as one of the lone bright spots for the Texans and the Jets are hoping that momentum will carry over into 2022 as the Jets hope to find some edge depth behind Carl Lawson and rookie Jermaine Johnson.
Story originally appeared on Jets Wire