(Boston College Athletics)
He's been called tough, well-schooled in technique and very intelligent at his position. He's James Marten, one of the top offensive tackles in this year's draft, and he talked to Scout.com's Ed Thompson in this exclusive interview about the skills he'll be providing to an NFL team very soon.
Ed Thompson: I think one of the things that jumped out at me about you was the fact that you spent a little bit of time during your first year at right tackle, shifted to guard for two years and then finished up at left tackle your senior year. In a four year span, that’s a pretty diverse set of perspectives and skill sets on the line.
James Marten: I think I’m a natural tackle. I think I move better in space. Playing guard is like playing in a phone booth. I like playing out in space and being athletic and moving and countering spin moves and all of that type of thing. I think that type of game is my game. Guard is fine, I just think I naturally fit at tackle better. I feel more comfortable there.
ET: Do you feel you were any better or less effective at right tackle versus left tackle?
JM: No, not at all. I feel equally comfortable with it. I’ve played left tackle this year, but I played right tackle in the Senior Bowl. The footwork’s different, but I felt fine. I’ve just been working on that since then, wherever the team wants me to play.
ET: Cleveland Browns assistant offensive line coach, Mike Sullivan, was quoted while talking about you and a teammate, offensive guard Josh Beekman. He said you’re both well-schooled in technique--and you’re tough. Is that a good description of you?
JM: Yeah, I think so. At Boston College we take a lot of pride in our offensive line and that’s one of the things that you can change yourself--your toughness and your technique. You could work on that all day. You’re only born with a certain amount of athleticism inside, so technique is something you have to take pride in, and your toughness.
ET: Let’s talk about that toughness because you had 38 consecutive starts during your college career, right?
|(Boston College Athletics)|
JM: Right. I was fortunate not to get injured. I take care of my body pretty religiously. Not sitting out, being tough, showing up to practice everyday, that’s what makes you a good player--consistency and being able to work on something new everyday.
ET: From a technique standpoint, what is it that you think you do particularly well in the running game?
JM: I think I’m able to lock onto guys really well and stick with them until the end of the play.
ET: How about as a pass protector?
JM: I think I’m able to get a good position on guys and I always extend on them real well.
ET: I found it interesting, especially as you were talking about feeling that tackle is a better fit for you, at least the stats I saw, both your junior year when you were at guard and your senior year when you were at left tackle, you only allowed one and a half sacks both seasons. Obviously, from technique standpoint, you can be successful at either position.
JM: I liked playing guard, I just feel like I’m a natural fit at tackle. Guard’s fun because you have a big, fat D-tackle tackle in front of you. You can just load up and knock ‘em back. It’s fun. I like to do that, I like to hit. I had a lot of fun at guard, I just feel that I’m a natural fit at tackle.
Learn more about James Marten at his player profile page. And Scout.com subscribers can check back Monday evening for the second half of this interview with James where he talks about what’s going to help him be successful at the pro level, the teams that have shown interest in him to date, which team could make his “dream come true” if they selected him, and more!
|A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.