Name: Martell Webb
Weight: 257 lbs.
High school: Northern High School in Pontiac, MI
Position: Tight end
Jersey number: #80
Last year: I ranked Webb #40 and said, “If Webb catches more than five passes all year, I’ll be surprised.” He caught 4 passes for 44 yards and 1 touchdown, including a 28-yard TD against Delaware State.
Webb is a solid blocker and a decent athlete. If the Lloyd Carr regime were still running things, I’d guess Webb would catch 15-20 balls this year. But the tight end position has been de-emphasized with Rich Rodriguez, and the combo of Webb and Kevin Koger only caught 20 passes total in 2009. This does not bode well for Webb’s farewell season.
This year I would not be surprised to see a slight uptick in passes thrown to tight ends, partly because starter Koger is a junior and Webb is a senior. Another part is that Michigan’s outside receiver depth is quite thin, and that might force slot guys like Martavious Odoms and Roy Roundtree to play out wide more often. With slot guys moving wider, we might see Koger and Webb playing in the slot more often. The final part of that equation is that the quarterback duo of Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier now have a year under their belts and should start looking to use the middle of the field more often. This will be Webb’s best season at Michigan, but it probably won’t be what he expected when he committed to Lloyd Carr.
Prediction for 2010: Backup tight end; 7 catches, 85 yards, 2 touchdowns
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