Versatility is Notre Dame Lineman Zack Martin's Biggest Asset

Posted Apr 16, 2014

Get to know Notre Dame offensive lineman and 2014 #RamsDraft prospect Zack Martin.

As a quality lineman who has at times slipped from the headlines garnered by many of his offensive line counterparts in this year’s draft, Notre Dame’s Zack Martin has utilized his versatility in joining his position group as a likely first-round pick.

With most draft boards devoid of a full-time guard being taken in the first round, Martin projects as possibly the first player drafted to man that position this spring. His size—6’4” and 308 pounds—could translate well to the position, in addition to his strong foot speed. Though he did not run at the NFL Combine, Martin has been timed as low as 5.08 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a number that could play well as a potential interior run-blocker.

Martin served as the left tackle throughout his four-year career at Notre Dame, where he holds the distinction as the only member of the Irish to be named offensive lineman of the year all four years. No other Notre Dame lineman has ever won the award more than twice.

While meeting with media at the NFL Combine, Martin expressed a preference to remain at his familiar position of tackle, though remains open to a move to the interior of the line.

“I’ve played tackle my whole career, and I tell teams that’s the position I’m familiar with and I can be effective there,” Martin said. “At the same time, I’m comfortable playing any position. I think one of my strengths is my versatility, and so I just let teams know I can play any position. They agree with the versatility point of me playing multiple positions.”

As for his draft potential, Martin to Miami at 19th overall has become a trendy projection, either at guard or tackle. The Rams have also emphasized the benefits of an offensive lineman that can serviceably handle both the guard and tackle positions, traits that made veteran Rodger Saffold a key offseason signing.

PHOTO GALLERY: #RamsDraft Prospect Notre Dame OL Zack Martin

Should the Rams choose to strike early for an offensive lineman, Martin could represent an option at 13th overall, if the trio of Jake Matthews, Greg Robinson and Taylor Lewan are selected early. Following the re-signing of Saffold as the team’s starting right guard, the Rams will enter 2014 more likely to upgrade at tackle than guard through the draft. Martin would welcome the opportunity to fill that need in St. Louis, or any other team seeking a first-round answer along the offensive line.

“I’m just looking for a job, so I’m just excited to hearing my name called (at the draft),” Martin said. “I had a pretty successful career (at tackle), but at the same time, if a team takes me and they want me to play at guard, then I’m perfectly happy doing that for them.