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Notre Dame Lineman Zack Martin Draws Marshal Yanda Comparison

Posted Feb 21, 2014

The versatile offensive lineman could play tackle or guard at the next level.

Zack Martin was a dominant offensive tackle during his college days at Notre Dame.

He could play offensive tackle at the NFL level, but many draft experts think he projects more as an guard based on his size.

“Some teams look at him as a Pro Bowl guard, therefore playing at tackle doesn't make much sense,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said on a national conference call this week.

The Ravens know a little about that kind of path. 

That’s exactly what they did with right guard Marshal Yanda, who starred as a tackle in college and then eventually moved to the interior of the line. Mayock sees similarities in the two players, and thinks Martin could be a good fit for the Ravens at pick No. 17.

“Baltimore has a player that's playing guard for them now, an All-Pro guard [Yanda] that was projected to tackle and they have done pretty darned well with him,” Mayock said. “I think Martin makes a lot of sense.”

Yanda isn’t the only college tackle the Ravens have converted to guard. Kelechi Osemele was a left tackle for Iowa State, but the Ravens moved him to left guard and he played well there before sustaining a back injury last season.

Martin, 6-foot-4, 308 pounds, played left tackle at Notre Dame and was a four-year starter on the blindside. He thrived at the position on the collegiate, and thinks he could play on the edge in the NFL.

“I want to prove to everyone that I can be a tackle, but at the same time if a team drafted me and wanted me to move to guard, I’d be willing to do that,” Martin said. “I’ve played tackle my entire career and I tell teams that I’m familiar with it and think I can be effective there. But at the same time I’m willing to play any position, and I think that’s one of my biggest strengths, is my versatility.”

The two-year captain was well regarded as a leader and hard-nosed player at Notre Dame, and he finished his college career playing in a school record 52-straight games. Martin then helped his stock with a strong performance at the Senior Bowl, bumping him into discussions as a likely first rounder.

Martin played guard during the week of the Senior Bowl, helping his cause that he could fill holes in multiple areas along an NFL team’s line.

“The beauty in this kid is he can play all five positions in the NFL,” Mayock said.

Martin is expected to get drafted around No. 20, depending on how he performs through the rest of the pre-draft process. He is already considered one of the draft’s best offensive linemen, and he’s hoping to show scouts during this week of the combine that he’s deserving of a high pick.

“I’m just looking for a job, so any team that is willing to take me I’m very excited to go and hear my name called,” Martin said. “At the end of the day I’m just looking forward to landing on a team.”


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