Ravens draft primer: Zack Martin

With nine days until the NFL draft begins, here is another potential draft prospect for the Baltimore Ravens:


Position: Offensive guard-tackle

School: Notre Dame

Height/weight: 6-foot-4, 308

Round projection: First

File this away: Martin achieved a rare accomplishment for an offensive lineman -- he was named Most Valuable Player of a bowl game.

Good: Martin is considered the "cleanest" prospect in this draft. He's a four-year starter and a two-time team captain who has never missed a game. Martin is a high-effort blocker and a throwback mauler. His experience shows in the fact that he's rarely caught out of position. Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both rank Martin as the fourth-best offensive tackle prospect in the draft.

Bad: Martin lacks the ideal body type to play tackle. He doesn't project to play left tackle because of his height, and some believe his marginal arm length makes him better suited to play guard. Martin would need to bulk up if he moved inside, where he never played his entire college career.

Bottom line: Martin compares favorably to Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda. Using that measuring stick, the Ravens probably like his no-nonsense demeanor but could also question his ability to play right tackle, which is the biggest hole on the Ravens' line. For that reason, it's not a slam dunk that the Ravens take Martin at No. 17. I struggle with my estimation of the team's interest in him because he does "Play like a Raven." There is also no guarantee Martin is there when the Ravens are on the clock. The New York Giants (No. 12), Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 15) and Dallas Cowboys (No. 16) have been linked to him.

What Martin said: “I think I can play tackle, and I think I can play it at a high level, but at the same time I’m a versatile player. You’ve got to be a technician. You’ve got to study tape and know your opponent. There are other ways to get an advantage on your opponent, and you have to find those.”