It seemed too perfect. Johnny Manziel was on the board when the Dallas Cowboys were on the clock in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Instead, the Cowboys elected to shore up the offensive line and draft offensive guard/tackle Zack Martin out of Notre Dame.
In college, Martin played left tackle for the Fighting Irish, but from what it looks like, Martin will be starting the season as Dallas’ right guard. Last season, Tyron Smith and Ronald Leary flourished next to each other on the left side, but Mackenzy Bernadeau was serviceable to say the most on the right side. Doug Free‘s time in Dallas is running out, and when it does, Martin will likely transition outside to play the right guard position.
Most of the time, moving offensive linemen around affects their game, but Martin has already stated that he thinks he could play every position on the offensive line. For guards in the NFL, speed around the edge is becoming an important trait. That’s not the case with Martin. At the NFL Scouting Combine, Martin ran a 5.08 40-yard dash. The main problem with Martin is his arm length. Martin will also need to put on weight before the NFL season starts.
Although Martin has his problems that cannot be improved upon, the Indiana native is technician and he is easily one of the smartest players in this year’s draft class. Martin started in 52 games at Notre Dame and he rarely had a bad game. Martin is quick on his feet and he does a good job moving laterally. Martin will be a perfect fit for Dallas’ zone-blocking scheme. DeMarco Murray should be in for a big move. Dallas now has three studs on the offensive line in Martin, Smith, and Travis Frederick.