The old saying goes, "speed kills." And it is speed that will bring Keshawn Martin to an NFL career.
Being able to score a touchdown in five different ways isn't too bad on a resume, either. Martin's dynamic play-making abilities have earned him the attention of a bevy of NFL scouts and caught the eye of analysts, as well.
"I kinda like this kid, Keshawn Martin from Michigan State," NFL Network's Mike Mayock said during the NFL Combine. "... He is a tough kid, quick in short areas, he has got long speed also. Again, i like this kid, slot receiver, punt returner, quicker than fast, but i think he can get deep and I think there's something about him. ... I did his game against Notre Dame and he flashed for me."
Martin, who didn't take part in any all-star games like many of his teammates, impressed at the NFL Combine and MSU's Pro Day, but with more than just his speed.
"Martin ran better than expected, timing in the low 4.4-second range," Sports Illustrated's Tony Pauline said. "He then put on a clinic running routes and was one of the best receivers on the field. He was scissors sharp into breaks and showed the ability to turn on the afterburners in a single step. Martin also caught the ball well and he may now get consideration in the late part of the draft's second day."
** More after the jump. **
Just as he did with Kirk Cousins, Pauline listed Martin as a riser following the Combine. NFL.com has footage posted of Martin's workouts at the Combine, and Michigan State All-Access talked to experts and analysts about Martin, hear their comments here.
His official 40-yard dash time was 4.45 seconds.
When the receiver took the field at MSU's Pro Day, he continued to impress with more than his speed.
"The swift wideout stood on his combine marks, but caught everything thrown in his direction during position drills," Pauline said. "He ran scissor-sharp routes and showed great timing catching the ball. Scouts were impressed the way Martin caught the deep ball."
Pauline also said Martin was a beneficiary to Cousins having a strong Pro Day workout -- they made each other look good -- and in the aftermath, a couple of the same teams that are interested in Cousins also are looking closely at Martin.
The Pittsburgh Steelers hosted Martin for a pre-draft visit on Monday. The Cleveland Browns also have been showning plenty of interest in Martin in the third- to fourth-round range, according to Draft Insider.
Scout.com reported Martin had five private workouts and five visits scheduled.
Here is some insight into the former MSU speedster heading into the NFL Draft on April 26-28:
Strengths: Speed and the abilities to makes plays in open space and make people miss. Versatility, with a 53-man roster in the NFL, a player who can do everything makes good use of a roster spot.
Weaknesses: Struggles downfield agaisnt bigger cornerbacks. Doesn't make plays as well in coverage, he works best in space.
Best Fit: As a slot receiver and return man. Martin's abilities to return punts and kicks makes him a valuable player, as teams generally love picking a player in the draft who can fill multiple roles, not to mention they always look for improvements in special teams.