News & Updates

Aug 26

NFP rookie report: Mack, Martin & James

Breaking down three of the top picks from the 2014 NFL draft.

Zack Martin – Offensive Tackle

Martin is a fifth-year senior and a four-year starter at left tackle. The very durable performer has not missed a start in those four years. Martin is not the biggest tackle in this year’s draft (estimated at 6042 – 310) but he is very athletic and strong. Some scouts will knock Martin and say he has short arms, but I was at the Notre Dame Pro Day last spring, and the scout who was doing the hand and arm measurements was not doing it correctly. If I recall, they measured his arms at just over 32”. When he goes to the Combine, they will be longer.

Martin is an efficient run and pass blocker. In the run game, he can get off the ball quickly and into his block. He is explosive on contact and drives his feet, enabling him to generate movement. He takes good angles to the second level and can adjust on the move. He is consistent with both angle and combo blocks. He will pull at times and has the speed and athleticism to play in space and make productive blocks. On passing downs, he usually plays from a two-point stance. He can set quickly, has quick hands, and a good punch. He plays with natural bend and can anchor. He shows good footwork and balance and, generally, does a good job mirroring his opponents. I have seen a few plays where he has trouble with wide speed but he is very effective as a pass blocker.

Martin reminds me of former New England tackle, Matt Light. They are just about the same size and very similar athletes coming out of college. There are some very talented junior tackles who may enter this Draft and if that is the case, I don’t see Martin going in the first round. He should be a very solid second round pick. Some will say he is more suited to play guard but I would start him out at tackle and let him prove he can’t play there. Martin is a very competitive player and can be a winning lineman in the NFL for years to come.