Jan 21, 2014, 7:27 PM EDT
Former Notre Dame left tackle Zack Martin is earning himself some money this week at the Senior Bowl. The four-time offensive lineman of the year for the Irish, the only player in school history to win that award more than twice, has been dominant during practices, quieting any skeptics who worried that Martin was too small or had too short of arms to be worthy of a starting left tackle job, let alone a first round pick.
But there’s universal praise coming out of Mobile, where Martin checked in at 6-foot-4, 305-pounds. But Martin has arguably been the story of the Senior Bowl, raising his profile from fringe first round player to one of the top offensive linemen in the draft.
The NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, no stranger to Martin’s body of work, was completely complimentary of the Irish senior, putting the floor for Martin’s potential at All Pro guard.
“He never missteps, he’s always under control,” Mayock said, pointing out that Martin is a solid technician and also has enough quickness to push speed pass rushers past the quarterback.
Some analysts think Martin might be best-suited to play guard because of his size (6-foot-4, 305 pounds). Pugh was a tackle at Syracuse and was moved inside by the Giants. Mayock said he thinks Martin can play left tackle, but “worst-case scenario, you move him inside and he’s an All-Pro guard.”
A collection of Tweets recapping Martin’s week should give you a good idea how impressive he’s been. The reports also jive with comments the Irish coaching staff has said for the past two years — they don’t see any tackle in college football better than him.