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2014 POSITION REVIEWS

North OL: ND's Martin tops the group

Sun, Feb 02, 2014

By Phil Savage

NORTH OL

This unit stayed intact and injury-free throughout the week. Notre Dame’s Zack Martin arrived in Mobile as the top-rated offensive lineman in the game and departed with the same lofty status.

1. #72 Zack Martin/Notre Dame    OT/OG   6041/305   32 1-4” Arm/9 3-4” Hand

Zack’s height and overall length will be questioned by some NFL teams, however, because of his outstanding lateral quickness and body balance, he very well may stay as a left tackle at the pro level. Many scouts think he has Pro Bowl-potential as an offensive guard and he took reps at both positions during the week. He is consistent with his upper body punch and hand placement and does an excellent job of using his feet to stay square and engaged with defenders. Zack has very good instincts for either spot and did not have any issues with the action happening faster when he slid inside. Expect him to be drafted by a team in need and to be a plug-in and play starter as a rookie in 2014.

1-on-1 PASS PRO: Wins: 8     Losses: 3 

SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: Zack graduated in May 2013 with a degree in management entrepreneurship. After redshirting as a freshman in 2009, he went on to start all 52 career games for the Fighting Irish.

NFL CAREER FORECAST: Starter (within first season)

2. #70 Weston Richburg/Colorado State   OC   6034/300   32 1-4” Arm/9” Hand

Weston capitalized on his opportunity in Mobile with solid performances every single day. He displayed a consistent punch with his hands and upper body, while showing the knee bend necessary to anchor the pocket in pass pro. He possesses excellent football intelligence, has enough athletic ability to work the pivot and plays with leverage in terms of his functional strength against heavier opponents. Weston has starter potential and should find his way into a lineup within two seasons.

1-on-1 PASS PRO: Wins: 6     Losses: 2

SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: Weston started 49 games at CSU, where he was the centerpiece of the nation’s only FBS offense in 2013 that included a 3200-yard passer and 1500-yard rusher.  He graduated with a degree in animal science before the season began.

NFL CAREER FORECAST: Eventual Starter (within two seasons)

3. #75 Brandon Thomas/Clemson  OT       6034/316      34 3-8” Arm/10 3-4” Hand

Brandon started at left tackle for the Tigers, but most NFL scouts feel his pro position will be at right tackle or inside as an offensive guard. During Senior Bowl week, he remained at LT and actually performed at a serviceable level despite not having ideal height on the outside. He does have long arms and large hands and both of those attributes, along with his underrated athletic ability, give him a chance to have three-position flexibility in the NFL. Brandon uses his girth to catch and absorb rushers while not over-setting to the outside. This first team All-ACC selection played his best football down the stretch and he was able to continue building off of that momentum in Mobile. 

1-on-1 PASS PRO: Wins: 7     Losses: 1

SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: Voted permanent captain as a senior, Brandon graduated in May 2013 with a degree in secondary education.

NFL CAREER FORECAST: Potential Starter (within three seasons)

BEST OF THE REST:

#74 Jack Mewhort/Ohio State       OT   6055/306   33” Arm/10 1-8” Hand

Demonstrated the ability to play RT or OG at the NFL level. Showed better knee bend and overall athleticism than expected.

#78 Michael Schofield/Michigan    OT/OG   6065/303   33 1-2” Arm/9 3-4” Hand

Another Big Ten lineman that has OT/OG versatility. Seemed comfortable on the inside despite his height and lean overall frame.

#76 Seantrel Henderson/Miami     OT   6067/331   34 1-4” Arm/10 3-8” Hand

This card-carrying giant will get a significant NFL opportunity because of his size and athletic skills. He is capable of aligning as a LT or RT and flashed the tools needed to play either side. True boom-or-bust candidate that tried to do what the Falcons’ staff asked of him in Mobile.



Phil Savage Phil Savage is the Executive Director of the Senior Bowl. He worked 20 years in the NFL as a coach, scout and executive, including two years as the Director of Player Personnel for the Baltimore Ravens and four years as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.