CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – North Carolina defensive end
was selected by the Arizona Cardinals Friday night in the third round (84th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.
"Kareem was a great leader who played a major role in our turnaround last year," said UNC head coach Larry Fedora. "He played extremely well in the second half of the season and was among the nation's top defensive ends in sacks and tackles for loss. The Cardinals are getting an excellent person and a tremendous player."
In Arizona, Martin will be reunited with former UNC teammate Jonathan Cooper, an offensive guard who was taken seventh overall by the Cardinals in 2013.
A native of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, Martin earned first-team All-ACC honors at defensive end after finishing the season with 82 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, 14 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He started 41 games, including 38 consecutive over his last three seasons. Martin finished his senior season fifth in the nation in tackles per loss and eighth in sacks.
"He wins with length," said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock. "I think he's a starting base end in the NFL."
Martin is the fourth Carolina defensive end taken in the last five years. The most recent was Quinton Coples in the first round of the 2012 draft. E.J. Wilson was taken in the fourth round of the 2010 draft and Robert Quinn was a first round pick in 2011. He is the seventh defensive lineman from UNC taken in the last five years.