Miami Dolphins 2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Zack Martin
Notre Dame OT/OG Zack Martin Scouting Report
It's nearly impossible to try and predict what an NFL team will do in the draft. That is especially true before free agency even beings as clubs like the Miami Dolphins will undoubtedly fill many of their needs with veteran players from the market instead of waiting to do with a rookie.
But for all the uncertainty surrounding the Dolphins and their plans in free agency and the draft, one thing is for sure: GM Dennis Hickey will look to sign and draft offensive linemen. After the unit was a mess both on and off the field in 2013, Miami is in need of two new starting tackles and two new starting guards.
It's a massive rebuilding project that is too extensive to be completed in just free agency or just the draft; it will assuredly take a combination of the two. With that in mind, draft experts have identified a favorite to land in Miami with the No. 19 overall pick. Notre Dame offensive tackle/offensive guard Zack Martin is quickly becoming the most mocked player to the Dolphins in the first round.
Martin played left tackle for the Irish, but many scouts have said that he's better suited for a move inside at the next level. Well, the Dolphins are in need of tackles and guards -- two of each, in fact.
Regardless of where the Dolphins envision Martin playing in the pros, he's likely going to be a potential fit during May's draft. Let's breakdown his scouting report in order to determine if he should be the pick. The following slideshow analyzes Martin's measurables, strengths, weaknesses, game film and his potential fit in Miami.
Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.
Collegiate Production and Measurables
Only the 18th two-time captain in Notre Dame history. Was an FBC All-Independent Team pick in 2011 and 2012. Martin's 52 starts were the most in program history. 50 of said starts came at left tackle with the other two at right tackle.
Weight: 308 pounds
Arm length: 32 7/8''
Bench press reps: 29
Vertical jump: 28.0
Broad jump: 106.0
Three-cone drill: 7.65
20-yard shuttle: 4.59
Martin fires off the snap quickly. He possesses the athleticism to pull and get to the second level of defense, but he also has the nastiness to bury a defender into the turf. He's typically light on his feet and owns the lateral quickness to mirror athletic pass rushers. Martin has the adaptability to handle both power and finesse defenders. He's an extremely intelligent lineman who can identify where blitzers are coming from before the snap.
Martin is a hard-worker and was said to be a true leader at Notre Dame. He's the type of young man who would fit well in any locker room. While he may lack the ideal measurables to play left tackle in the NFL, he excelled at the position in college and could be the exception to the standard height and arm length requirements. If not, Martin has the potential to be an immediate starter at guard, where he is suited for a zone-blocking scheme.
For as impressive as Martin appeared at left tackle in South Bend and at the Senior Bowl, drafting him to protect a quarterback's blindside would be a huge roll of the dice. He simply lacks the height and wingspan to be a prototypical left tackle.
Even if Martin was able to prove those notions wrong, he would likely never materialize into one of the league's better left tackles. Therefore, investing a first-round pick in him to play the most important position along the offensive line would likely be a reach.
As far as a move inside goes, Martin may need to bulk up some between now and September. He might not be able to handle some of the league's most powerful defensive tackles until he does.
Potential Fit in Miami
Regardless of what happens in free agency, the Dolphins will still be in need of offensive linemen come May's draft. There are simply too many spots to fill in free agency alone. That means Martin will surely be under consideration between now and when Miami is on the clock. But that doesn't mean he should be the pick. In fact, there are a few key reasons why he shouldn't.
First off, the Dolphins probably shouldn't select him to play left tackle. If they are unable to land a blindside protector in free agency and all of the draft's top players at the position are gone within the top 18 picks, I could see why Miami might select Martin to play left tackle out of desperation. Given his height and arm length deficiencies he'll likely never be an above average left tackle in the NFL, though. And if he doesn't project to be at least above average, he isn't worthy of a first-round pick.
Potentially selecting Martin to play guard is another story. Although he never played guard at Notre Dame, Martin's ceiling is much higher inside than it is on the outside. He has the athleticism, fundamentals and strength to be an effective zone-blocking guard, which means he would potentially be an ideal fit in Miami.
The only problem is, quality guards can be found in the middle-to-late rounds of the draft. There's no need to invest a first-round pick on the position. I expect Martin to emerge as quality pro and to sustain himself as such for many years. I just don't think he should be the Dolphins' pick at No. 19.