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Cowboys Select Notre Dame OL Zack Martin In First Round Of NFL Draft

Passing on QB Johnny Manziel, the Cowboys instead went with a player that will help on the offensive line – that being offensive lineman Zack Martin.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Rutgers v Notre Dame

Here’s the lowdown on Martin.

From: CBS Sports

STRENGTHS: Very good at keeping his feet underneath him while keeping his butt low to handle both speed and power. He does play with good quickness (but not explosiveness) off the snap, showing knee bend and core strength to anchor, as well as the lateral agility to mirror more athletic defenders.

He also shows better athleticism than you might think when blocking on the move, demonstrating above average straight-line speed to get to the second level, as well as the nastiness to bury his target into the ground.

WEAKNESSES: With less than ideal length and lateral range, Martin’s NFL future may lie inside at guard, where he never played in college. The move to guard is necessary because Martin does not possess great height, arm length or foot speed. He chucks his way back (rather than sliding) for an effective if not aesthetically-pleasing form of pass protection.

COMPARIES TO: Logan Mankins, OG, New England Patriots – Mankins has been one of the NFL’s most valuable offensive linemen since being selected by New England in the first round of the 2005 draft, and has anchored the Patriots’ front line with top-notch instincts, toughness and versatility despite lacking elite athleticism. Martin exhibits many of the same traits, and should draw first-round consideration.

Player Overview

Martin lined up at both guard and tackle at the Senior Bowl and routinely stymied the competition with quickness, power and overall technique.

Though Martin lacks the prototypical size of a modern NFL tackle, he has exhibited impressive technique and better-than-average strength, and after a strong Senior Bowl showing, many scouts believe he could not only play on the outside at the next level, but could do so very well.

Although all 39 of his college starts were at tackle, teams are looking at Martin mostly as a guard. He is short for a left tackle and perhaps not powerful enough for a right tackle. Regardless, he is a team leader who made a case for himself at tackle with a good showing in the Senior Bowl workouts. Frankly: Picking a position for him to play is the only issue. This smart, aware, two-time team captain with the most career games in Notre Dame history (52) can certainly play somewhere.

Martin


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