Green Bay Packers linebacker Blake Martinez received the highest grade at the position in the NFC North by Pro Football Focus.
Blake Martinez has been a key part of the Green Bay Packers defense the past few years. While he doesn’t often make plays that show up in the game highlights, he’s made a number of important plays.
Pro Football Focus revealed the highest-graded linebackers in the NFC North for the 2018 season, and at No. 1 was Martinez.
Selected in the fourth round by the Packers three years ago, Martinez was brought in to help fix one of the team’s biggest needs at inside linebacker.
Since then he’s been a tackle-machine, finishing as the team’s leader in that category two years in a row, and he was tied for first in the NFL for tackles in 2017 with 144. Martinez matched that total again this past season, and it was good for second-most in the league behind NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and first-team All-Pro Darius Leonard, who had 163 tackles.
Martinez is an important part of Mike Pettine’s defense, but he’s entering a contract year in 2019. Another good season will make him one of the Packers’ top priorities to re-sign next offseason along with Mike Daniels.
While the Packers will continue to add talent on defense this offseason, they already have a few young players at key positions to build around. Martinez is one of them. Jaire Alexander can be an elite cornerback in the NFL; he had a strong rookie season. Kenny Clark is quickly becoming an elite defensive tackle.
If Martinez can continue to play at a high level, he’ll earn a big contract next offseason. Hopefully it’ll be with the Green Bay Packers.