Zack Martin   OT   Notre Dame

TALENT BOARD ROUND 1

STRENGTHS
Zack has the technical skills an athletic talent to play guard or tackle at the next level for the team that drafts him. He has excellent balance when pass blocking or run blocking. He shows adequate lateral agility for the tackle position and better than lateral agility to play the center or Left guard position. He is stout against the bull rush and is quick out of his stance with the foot speed to recover and push his man up the field when he does get beat. Zack has the agility to be used in any style of offensive line blocking scheme. He shows the leadership skills and play on the field to gain the respect of his teammates and coaches. Zack might be the safest pick in this draft and sometimes the safest pick gets overlooked because of the more flashier players but donít be fooled, Zack is a Pro Bowl offensive lineman waiting to happen for the smart team that drafts him.

CONCERNS
Sometimes players are so good at what they do they get overlooked. Zack is one of those players. Zackís true impact position is Left guard and this means some teams will downgrade him because of importance of that position. Other teams will think he can play Left tackle, but not at a franchise level and that thinking will affect Zackís round and pick in this draft.

BOTTOM LINE
For me personally, the skill positions on offense are quarterback, left tackle and center. Left guard is the next skill position as far as Iím concerned and a player who has the ability to play left tackle and Left guard at a very high level would be listed high on my board. Most people feel that quarterback, running back and wide receiver are the skill positions on the offense and rate those positions higher than I do. Itís not a matter of being wrong or right, itís just matter of opinion. As far as how high Zackís value is in any draft? That depends on how many pure left tackles that you project to play that position better than Zack will at the next level because although Zack played left tackle at the college level his true position for the next level projects as a left guard. For the purpose of selecting Zack and understanding his value I would draft him with the thought that he will be my starting left guard with the potential to fill in at the left tackle position in a pinch. You have to value players and select players with the information that you have in front of you at the time of the draft. Zack has a 1st Round talent grade but if you project him as a left guard instead of a left tackle than you might not rate his ďvalueĒ to be 1st round. Thatís why we use the two board system -- to identify the 1st round talent all over the draft and in every round. Remember the draft is as much a numbers game as it is a talent game. You can only select 32 players in the 1st round, but with all the juniors that come out with first round grades added to the list you have of seniors with 1st round grades, if you are true to your talent grades, you will see that in every draft there is always more than 32 players with 1st round talent who could be selected in the 1st round. Zack has first round talent and should be selected in the first round of this draft, but you never know. All I know for sure is if I needed a complete offensive lineman who I could plug into my offensive line right away and could play at a high position for the next ten years, I would draft Zack.

Drew Boylhart
FEB/2014