Zach Martin OL Notre Dame #70
Size/Athleticism: Lacks ideal height. Athleticism is only average for a tackle, but quick footwork would be an asset if shifted inside to guard. Seems to struggle with balance, which especially hurts his play in pass protection at tackle. Short arms, especially for a tackle, and it shows up in his game.
Pass Protection: Lacks the long arms and elite upper body strength to swallow up defenders and completely take them out of the play. Once he’s engaged, he battles hard but he’ll the battle on occasion. Looks awkward trying to slide outside with edge-rushers. He’s fundamentally sound but he just isn’t quick enough. When the outer limits of his ability to kick out are tested he looks awkward and tends to get upright and out of position. Fairly strong lower body allows him to handle himself the bull rush, but it’s a challenge and he often loses leverage as the battle goes on.
Run Blocking: Not strong enough to be a dominant road grader but is technically sound and can be effective. Quick off the snap and delivers a nice initial pop. He’s a fighter and always plays through the whistle. Shows great awareness and doesn’t get lost in space. Looks fluid getting to the second level. Takes smart angles and diagnoses his assignment quickly. Lacks the mobility to adjust if he’s attacking a moving linebacker in space.
Intangibles: Plenty of experience as a four-year starter. Team captain as a junior and senior.
Durability: Started 52 games with no known issues.
Comments: Martin is a smart lineman and technically sound in all aspects of the game. But he lacks the athleticism to play tackle in the pros. My biggest concern is his lack of balance, which really showed when facing more powerful edge-rushers such as Ziggy Ansah. I think most of his flaws can be masked at guard, because he can handle bull-rushers, he simply lacks the ability to handle the dominant punch delivers from strong edge rushers who can build momentum before engaging. That said, his power is still a concern and there are too many questions to warrant a first-round selection.