Zack Martin, LT, Notre Dame (HT: 6'4"; WT: 308 lbs)
First Round: 16th Pick
NFL Comparison: Josh Sitton, OG, Green Bay Packers
- Prospect with a very thick and barrel-like base which he settles into and fires out of nicely.
- Put on an exceedingly impressive performance at the Senior Bowl.
- Was able to keep highly productive NCAA edge-rush threats such as Marcus Smith and Michael Sam quiet through a week of North squad team sessions and one-on-ones in Mobile.
- Smart, communicative player who is sharp as a tack in interviews.
- Consistently displays excellent footwork and balance.
- Described by Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly as the "best lineman I've ever coached," per Al Lesar of the South Bend Tribune.
- A fixture on the Notre Dame offensive line, starting for a school-record 52 contests.
- Terrific balance aids in the ability to redirect naturally on converting pass-rushers.
- Shows natural hand-striking abilities with terrific placement.
- Relentless once engaged in blocks and very difficult for defenders to shed.
- Has a quick burst to second-level assignments that are generally handled using great leverage and positioning.
- Very rarely gives up any ground at the point of attack and usually drives defenders well off their spot. Plays with excellent pad level and leg drive.
- An all-around technical player who lacks any major question marks about his game at the collegiate level.
- Tied for 11th-most bench reps at the 2014 combine.
- Tied for 10th-best broad jump.
- Above-average on-field quickness and agility.
- Durable player without any real injury question marks or issues through college while playing at a high level.
- Appears to be a natural prospect to spin down to guard at the NFL level.
- Lacks elite, NFL-level offensive tackle size.
- Does not possess great length for manning the edge in an NFL offense where he'll be facing elite outside speed.
- Shows only average fundamental technique with his kick slide in pass protection.
- Will occasionally find himself falling forward to counter outside speed to compensate for length of arms. Did not participate in the 40-yard dash at the combine due to minor injury.
- Arm length in the bottom 20 percent of all offensive line prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine.
- Tied for smallest hands of any offensive lineman measured in Indianapolis.
- Hard to confidently project as a guard at the NFL level as evaluators have not seen how he handles stronger 3-technique players through games.
- Can lose his feet at times while engaged at the end of assignments.
Personal Notes (via Notre Dame Athletic Department)
- Nick (brother) joined Irish in 2011 as offensive lineman.
- Full name is Zachary Edward Martin.
- Son of Pam and Keith Martin.
- Graduated on May 19, 2013, with a degree in management entrepreneurship from the Mendoza College of Business.
- Enrolled as an unclassified graduate student.
Martin is a rare type of prospect in that NFL teams will feel fairly certain about what they're getting in selecting him. Martin has stood up well to every test through the NFL draft process outside of missing his 40-yard dash at the combine. He's shown professionalism and dedication to his craft by showing up prepared and exceeding expectations consistently. The word you hear evaluators use most regarding Zack Martin is "solid." This prospect simply looks like he's solidly built, acts like a man of solid character and operates on the football field as a clear student of solid fundamentals and technique.
The questions about Martin's length and ability to man the edge will continue, as will the question on the other side of the coin: If he moves inside to guard, will he be powerful enough to handle monster defensive tackles in solo assignments? These questions pale in comparison to the issues being evaluated in many of 2014's other top offensive line prospects, and fans of teams picking through the middle and end of Round 1 should be excited about their franchise acquiring Martin.
Draft Projection: 1st Round