In the Film Room: Martavious Odoms

Martavios Odoms

In the interest of full disclosure, I have very little film on Martavious Odoms. I hope that as the season progresses I'll be able to get my hands on a bit more. That is now out of the way. What film I do have of Martavious I absolutely fell in love with.

Let's get the negatives out of the way right away. Height doesn't guarantee success in a college wide receiver, but it doesn't hurt. Standing only 5-foot-8, Odoms will need to overcome his lack of height. I believe he will based on the skill set he possesses, which I will get to later. I'm a stickler for technique in wide receivers. Odoms has one major flaw that I see right away. This is going to sound funny for a 5-foot-8 player, but Martavious is a bit too tall in his stance. This causes him to false step at the snap on every play. I'd like to see him get more bend in his knees, and a bit more of a forward lean in his stance. This will help him maximize his speed and quickness which are two great strengths he possesses. At times he tends to look back a bit early to the quarterback. Also, on his out routes, he was a second too late ripping his eyes back and finding the ball. This will have to get worked out. I saw zero film of Martavious as a blocker.

Now on to the positives, and there are many. Odoms is a fast kid, but he isn't in the same league as Armando Allen when it comes to pure speed. Not many people are. I do think he plays much faster than he times. People often say this, but I'm going to try to explain what it means. This is due in large part to how quick he is. He really has great feet. He's able to smoothly and very quickly get in and out of all his cuts. He is also pretty explosive and is at top speed from step one. Odoms is going to be very explosive in college with the ball in his hands. Whether it be once he makes the catch downfield, catches a screen, or runs a reverse, he's a guy who will have to be accounted for on every snap. This not only helps the receiving corp., but also helps the running backs. When you have a receiver who must be accounted for as a route runner and as a quick screen guy, it can be difficult to also account for screens or backs out of the backfield. Imagine having one of ND's bigger receivers (Kamara, Parris, Jackson) running a deep route, one of their huge TE's (Reuland, Ragone, Yeatman, Rudolph) stretching the middle of the field, and then you've got Martavious Odoms and a Golden Tate type kid running all over the middle of the field. How, at this point, do you account for Armando Allen out of the backfield?

Despite his initial false step, Odoms still gets off the line quickly. He gets on the defensive back immediately and puts his defender in a bind. The Pahokee, Fla. native takes relatively long strides for someone his height. You would expect a 5-foot-8 player to be extremely quick and he doesn't disappoint in this department. His foot quickness is stellar. He ran a 4.12 shuttle as a rising junior last summer. With a player his size I would argue that quickness is more important than speed.

Technically speaking, I really like the route runner that Odoms is right now, and love his potential to be a phenomenal route runner. With his quick feet and ability to cut without losing speed he has all the tools to develop into a premier route runner. I saw senior receiver on several occasions attack the leverage of his defender and then explode past. This was a technique that was foreign to many upper class college wide receivers I have coached. To see a junior high school kid possess this trait was exciting. To explain attacking the leverage of the defender, basically it's wherever your defender lines up, go after him. This isn't a guaranteed rule, but usually a cornerback is going to attempt to out-leverage the wide receiver. If he wants to keep you from getting outside, he will cheat outside. Same goes for the inside. Your job as a receiver, is in the initial part of your route, to take that advantage away and even him up. Once you are able to do that you get the cornerback in a guessing game. If you just come off the ball straight up the field you are playing into the defenders hands. This is what I'm talking about with Martavious. He has a great idea of where he wants to go and what he needs to do to get there. Combine that with how quickly he gets there and you have a kid who is going to be hard to cover.

Odoms catches the ball very clean. What's great about highlight clips is you never see drops or bobbles. But if a kid can do it as many times as he did on the highlight reels, you would guess it's something he is strong at. I would like to see him come back a little bit to under-thrown or soft passes. He tends to wait on the ball in these scenarios. The quarterbacks at Notre Dame have strong arms, so if Pahokee high school star comes to Notre Dame he won't be waiting on balls the way he was in high school, but it does happen enough to need to correct this. The reason it needs to be corrected is if the ball is late or not thrown with great zip, you want to close on the ball and not allow the defender to get a jump on it. Having defenders around didn't seem to bother Martavious, which will allow him to be more than a gimmick player.

With his speed, quickness, route running ability, explosiveness, and ability to fight for the football, he possesses every trait necessary to be an every down wide receiver. Depending on where he goes to college, I believe Odoms could be an outstanding every-down wide receiver. Martavious would be a tremendous addition to the Notre Dame receiver corp. Golden Tate is the only player on the roster right now who possesses his combination of speed, quickness, and ball skills. With John Goodman already on board, the top two receivers on my wish list are Michael Floyd and Martavious Odoms.

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