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NFL Draft Spotlight: Zack Martin

May 8, 2014, 1:57 PM EST

With the 2014 NFL Draft beginning on Thursday, May 8th, I thought we should give a little background on the three possible first round picks (as told to us by the pundits) from the Fighting Irish. Let’s take a look at Zack Martin.

Zack Martin, a two-time captain of the Notre Dame football squad is expecting to go early in the 2014 NFL Draft. His ability to play a variety of positions along the offensive front and his performance in the Senior Bowl has helped boost his stock up draft board after draft board.

Take a look below to see what a variety of NFL Draft experts have to say about Martin.

Mike Mayock (NFL Network) – 9th Overall (First Round) – Buffalo Bills
“Eric Ebron is possible, but I would take Martin. You can play him at tackle or guard, even center, and he’ll do it at a high level. He will help make E.J. Manuel a better quarterback.”

Scott Wright (NFLDraftCountdown) – 12th Overall (First Round) – N.Y. Giants
“Most will probably have Michigan OT Taylor Lewan, Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald or North Carolina TE Eric Ebron in this spot but I have a funny feeling the G-Men may go in a different direction. Those are all logical fits and good players that would address needs but there is always a surprise or two on Draft Day. Remember, nobody expected New York to select Justin Pugh in the first round a year ago. The Giants still have some question marks along the offensive line and Zack Martin of Notre Dame could legitimately be plugged in at tackle, guard or even center, which would give Tom Coughlin a lot of options and help them get the five best blockers on the field. Martin isn’t an incredible physical specimen or even particularly dominant but he’s a smart, steady, technically sound, battle-tested, four-year starter and may be one of the safest prospects in this entire draft at any position. That is why he may not even last this long when all is said and done and I wouldn’t be surprised to see teams attempt to trade up to secure his services since he is the last of the top tier of offensive linemen. Ebron could be difficult to pass up though, especially since there isn’t currently a starting caliber tight end on the roster. With that said there should be some intriguing options available at the position in round two, whether it be Troy Niklas of Notre Dame, Austin Seferian-Jenkins of Washington or Jace Amaro of Texas Tech. Zack Martin | Notre Dame Fighting Irish So why not Lewan? I just have a hunch Lewan’s off-the-field issues will scare away the Giants and he probably won’t last this long anyway. Why not Donald? There is no doubt the Giants love to invest in defensive linemen, even when it isn’t a major need. However, they also tend to lean toward prospects with size and athleticism in the trenches and Donald only checks one of those boxes. Don’t rule out LSU WR Odell Beckham as a darkhorse since they let Hakeem Nick walk as a free agent.

Peter King (Sports Illustrated) – 12th Overall (First Round) – N.Y. Giants
“The offensive line is being overhauled and the Giants will pounce if Martin’s there. “Most versatile lineman I’ve seen come out in the draft in the last 10 years,’’ one assistant GM tell me.”

Greg Bedard (MMQB.com) – 17th Overall (First Round) – Baltimore Ravens
“If Baltimore learned anything from last season, it’s how important it is to be strong on the offensive line. None of the in-house options at right tackle are as good as Martin, who can play anywhere.”

Peter Shrager (Fox Sports) – 12th Overall (First Round) – N.Y. Giants
“The Giants could be looking at Taylor Lewan, the two top safeties, tight end Eric Ebron and Odell Beckham, Jr. if they’re all on the board, here. But Martin is the guy. He could play either tackle, either guard, and can play center. Some sources around the league tell me the Giants aren’t even sure he’ll be there at 12. They hope he is.”

CBSSports.com Crew:
Rob Rang – 9th Overall (First Round) – Buffalo Bills
Dane Brugler – 12th Overall (First Round) – N.Y. Giants
Pete Prisco – 12th Overall (First Round) – N.Y. Giants
Pat Kirwan – 12th Overall (First Round) – N.Y. Giants
Will Brinson – 12th Overall (First Round) – N.Y. Giants

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