Zack Martin was someone who started out at the beginning of the season as a mid-third round pick. He was a polished, unassuming, invisible part of a relatively solid Notre Dame offensive line. He maintained his relative anonymity right on through well after the season ended.
Then, somebody out there had the nerve to remember that, hey, isn't being anonymous the hallmark of a good offensive lineman? He's right. Martin enjoyed a meteoric rise after that. Let's explore why?
- Wide, open legged gait. Allows him to absorb power rushers without getting pushed too far backwards.
- Footwork is special. Likely the third-best in the draft behind Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan. Effortlessly moves back and forth.
- He's nasty, very nasty. Doesn't block passively, and when he can shove you into the ground, he'll do just that.
- While he doesn't have length, he's stout and more than likely will win the leverage battle by easily getting under the defender's shoulder pads. Sits well in his stance too, like a rock.
- Run blocking needs some work. He's solid, but you want to see more out of a possible 1st rounder. Sometimes he drives his feet down, but doesn't finish with his arms. Needs to put it all together.
- Short, stubby arms. A likely negative, but how big a negative? As Justin Pugh showed us, probably not much.
- I'd like to see him more out in space. I don't know how well he'd do as a lead blocker.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Yes. The fundamentals are very clean. He's reportedly very smart and a quick study, which should always please Tom Coughlin. He likely plays four spots on the offensive line, at both tackle and guard spots. His footwork isn't as good as Pugh's, but it's very close. He's a bit stronger than Pugh as well, and comes with some pre-packaged nasty.
Zack Martin (OT Notre Dame) vs Stanford 2013 (via Aimal Arsalla)
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 23
Mocking The Draft - 28
CBS Sports - 12
Draft Countdown - 23
Draft Tek - 36
Martin is not a sexy pick for the Giants at 12. Don't be surprised (or upset...well okay, you can be a little upset if you want) if it happens. It would give the Giants two well-rounded, solid 10-year starters on the offensive line and would make them one step closer towards building that elite offense.
Many say Martin would be an all-pro guard while only being a "good" tackle. I think I'll disagree a bit with that. The same argument was made against Pugh and its all because of lazy analysis looking at arm length. I think Martin's ability to mirror with his feet and his recovery speed make him a very strong tackle prospect and I really do think he can succeed there.