Martin Ifedi entered his career at The University of Memphis as an upside get; an unheralded 2-star defensive lineman from Houston, Texas, with potential. Through hard work, he developed into a top player in the American Athletic Conference, being selected to the All-Conference First Team in both 2013 and 2014, on the strength of his tackle and sack numbers. At Memphis, Ifedi added muscle to his 6' 3" frame, weighing in at 275 pounds for his senior season, and is the all-time school leader in sacks with 22.5.
Ifedi shows a nose for the ball, seeking out the carrier and excelling at tackles for loss. Many of his sacks resulted from second effort, refusing to quit on slow-developing pass plays. It is this effort and never-say-die attitude that embodies Ifedi's appeal; he has consistently improved with training and coaching. His personal workouts at the East-West Shrine Game in January left scouts impressed with his quickness and ability to penetrate, and he was a top performer in the 40-yard dash and broad jump among defensive linemen at the NFL Combine in February. These points, along with Ifedi's high football intelligence, make him an intriguing prospect.
Ifedi's solid Shrine Game individual drill performance masked a pedestrian in-game effort. He has issues with his pass rush technique that NFL offensive linemen will exploit, and lacks pro-level elusiveness. Ifedi's body type is bigger than a traditional defensive end, but smaller than a traditional defensive tackle and, at 275 pounds, may have maxed out his muscular development. The knee injury that sidelined him during part of his senior year may give some teams pause.
Though there are concerns over Martin Ifedi's quickness and technique, his strength and devotion to development are keys to his appeal. Ifedi shows promise as a light defensive lineman with emphasis upon run stopping. He is a likely late-round pickup, and will have a chance to use his high effort and work ethic to make his way onto an NFL roster.