Senior Bowl: Zack Martin, OL, Notre Dame


Oct. 6, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive tackle Zack Martin (70) celebrates after running back Cierre Wood (20), not shown, scored a touchdown in the third quarter against the Miami Hurricanes at Soldier Field. Notre Dame won 41-3. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Martin is becoming a name to watch as we slowly (slooooooowly) progress toward May’s NFL Draft. The Notre Dame offensive lineman was tagged as underrated going into the offseason, but now that is being adjusted.

Mike Mayock is currently leading the Martin charge. After a couple days of Senior Bowl practices, Mayock is ready to declare Martin a potential All-Pro.

“He never missteps, he’s always under control,” Mayock gushed.

Martin played tackle at Notre Dame, but scouts have expressed concern about his ability to play on the outside at the next level. Mayock for one believes Martin can play left tackle in the NFL. In fact, Mayock thinks Martin could play at a high level at all five O-line positions.

Hyperbole from Mayock?

A sampling of other opinions about the 6-4, 308 lb Martin:

Bryan Broaddus: Keep an eye on Zack Martin of Notre Dame… Didn’t know a whole heck of a lot about him but didn’t practice like those Irish linemen that we have seen from the past. This guy has balance and some power plus some mobility to his game. He gets out in space really well. Thoughts that he might be a better guard like what we saw in Justin Pugh of Syracuse last season.

Alex BrownHe looked so smooth and controlled and confident in his technique. He’s just a really sound player that can reset his hands. He’s just an efficient player.

Scott WrightZack Martin is arguably the best player in attendance & could be the 1st Sr. Bowl participant selected in draft.

Dane BruglerZack Martin lining up at OG in some drills today and performing well. He’s the best player here IMO.

Rob RangMartin locked down the blindside for most of the day, showing his trademark patience, forceful hands and underrated athleticism. While he generally played well, Martin’s lack of ideal size was exposed a bit by some of the longer defensive ends he faced during Tuesday’s practice, most notably West Virginia’s Will Clarke, a 6-foot-6, 271-pounder with nearly 34″ arms.

While Notre Dame’s standout handled speed rushers, Clarke used his long arms to keep Martin’s hands from grabbing hold of him. Unable to latch on, Martin was beaten to the outside, on occasion, reinforcing the theory that while he could remain at tackle in the NFL, he projects as a potential Pro Bowl guard.

Does Martin go to the pros as a tackle or a guard? The Vikings might have interest in him as a left guard to replace the sub-par Charlie Johnson, but only if he lasts into the second round. Taking this guy #8 overall as a guard would not be a shrewd move.

He might be in the picture in the mid-to-late-teens if Rick Spielman doesn’t like what’s available at 8 and elects to trade down. Whatever happens, shoring up the guard position must be a priority for the Vikings this offseason.

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