Please Help Me Understand

I am not a generally negative person, but I'm not sure about tonight's first round pick. I am generally inclined to give the front office, and many of the posters on this site that have championed zack martin, the benefit of the doubt regarding selecting him in tonight's first round, but I just can't shake a feeling of uneasiness in this pick. How did RT become a draft 1st round priority?

To assuage my fears, I embarked on some research. At first glance, it would appear it is more common than I thought to draft a right tackle in the first round. Here are last year's starters league-wide at right tackle, Dallas excluded: (Please feel free to correct any discrepancies)

Arizona - Eric Winston: 2006 3rd round
Atlanta - Mike Johnson: 2010 3rd round
Baltimore - Ricky Wagner: 2013 5th round
Buffalo - Erik Pears: 2005 UDFA
Carolina - Byron Bell: 2011 UDFA
Chicago - Jordan Mills: 2013 5th round
Cincinatti - Andre Smith: 2009 1st round
Cleveland - Mitchell Schwartz: 2012 2nd round
Denver - Orlando Franklin: 2011 2nd round
Detroit - Corey Hilliard: 2007 6th round
Green Bay - Bryan Bulaga: 2010 1st round
Houston - Derek Newton: 2011 7th round
Indianapolis - Gosder Cherilus: 2008 1st round
Jacksonville - Austin Pasztor: 2012 UDFA
Kansas City - eric fisher: 2013 1st round
Miami - Tyson Clabo: 2004 UDFA
Minnesota - Phil Loadholt: 2009 2nd round
New England - Marcus Cannon: 2011 5th round
New Orleans - Zach Strief: 2006 7th round
New York Giants - Justin Pugh: 2013 1st round
New York Jets - Austin Howard: 2010 UDFA
Oakland - Tony Pashos: 2003 5th round
Philadelphia - Lane Johnson: 2013 1st round (drafted to be future LT)
Pittsburgh - Marcus Gilbert: 2011 2nd round
San Diego - DJ Fluker: 2013 1st Round
San Francisco - Anthony Davis: 2010 1st round
Seattle - Breno Giacomini: 2008 5th round
St Louis - Rodger Saffold: 2010 2nd round
Tampa Bay - gabe carimi: 2011 1st round
Tennessee - David Stewart: 2005 4th round
Washington - Tyler Polumbus: 2008 UDFA

Turns out last year, 9/32 RT starters were former first rounders. Sounds good right? Well, four of those (PHI, SD, NYG, KC) were drafted last year, and three of those it could be argued were playing RT while grooming for a future at LT. So that is 6/32 starters, or 19% of the league. Definitely in the minority.

Not to be defeated in my quest for positivity, I slogged ahead.

Here are Zack Martin's combine measurables as compared to those 9 former first round picks:

* a caveat, not all of the prospects participated in all of the drills. So I gave Martin a benefit of the doubt and let him win those - I REALLY want him to succeed!

Zack Martin:
6'4", 308lbs, 32 7/8"
40: N/A
bench: 29 reps - T 1st with Gabe Carimi
vertical: 28" - 6th/9
broad: 106" - 4th/9
3-cone: 7.65s - 5th/9
20 yrd shuttle: 4.59s - 3rd (Lane Johnson, Eric Fisher)

Not really a great endorsement, although he does appear to be a very strong man.

Next, I decided to see if he might be a better prospect than the incumbent, Doug Free, drafted in the 4th round way back in 2007.

Doug Free:
6'6", 324lbs - edge: Free
40: 5.19 - no time for martin
bench: 22 reps - edge: Martin
vertical: 30" - edge: Free
broad: 111" - edge: Free
3-cone: 7.38 - edge: Free
20 yrd shuttle: 4.53 - edge: Free

Nope, Free wins this one too. Arrrrrgh!

Fumbling in some despair, another idea suddenly struck me. Mayhaps our beloved Boys are projecting him to take over one of the G positions! Back to the Google I went.

Ronald Leary:

6'3", 315lbs, 34 3/4" arms - Edge: wash...leary is heavier and has longer arms, martin is taller....which isn't necessarily good either.

40: 5.36 - Edge: No Comparison
bench: 30 - Edge: Leary, by a hair
vertical: 29 - Edge: Leary
broad: 104 - Edge: Martin
3-cone: 7.87 - Edge: Martin
20 yrd shuttle: 4.91 - Edge: Martin

Mackenzy Bernadeau:

6'4", 298lbs - Edge: Similar, but goes to Martin

40: 5.25 - Edge: none
bench: 26 - Edge: Martin
vertical: 28.5" - Edge: Bernadeau
broad: 109" - Edge: Bernadeau
3-cone: 7.47 - Edge: Bernadeau
20 yrd shuttle: 4.56 - Edge: Bernadeau

So....he's definitely not a better prospect than Bernadeau or Free, and he is a similar prospect to Ronald Leary, a guy we had a 3rd round grade on. Why did we pick him if he isn't any better than the other three non-first round linemen?

Help me get excited about this pick BTB! What am I missing?

For your reference, here are the combine results of the other 9 first round tackles:

1st rounders/measurables:
Eric Fisher
6'7", 306lbs, 34.5" arms
40: 5.05
Bench: 27
Vertical: 28.5"
Broad: 116"
3-Cone: 7.59
20 yrd shuttle: 4.44

Justin Pugh
6'4", 307lbs, 32" arms
40: 5.14
bench: n/a
vertical: 28.5"
broad: 103"
3-cone: 7.45
20 yrd shuttle: 4.63

Lane Johnson
6'6", 303lbs, 35.25" arms
40: 4.72
bench: 28 reps
vertical: 34"
Broad: 118"
3 cone: 7.31
20 yrd shuttle: 4.52

DJ Fluker
6'5", 339lbs, 36.75" arms
40: 5.31
vertical: 27.5"
20 yrd shuttle: 5

Gabe Carimi
6'7", 314lbs, 35" arms
40: 5.27
bench: 29 reps
vertical: 31.5"
broad: 109"

Anthony Davis
6'5", 323lbs, 34" arms
vertical: 33"
20 yrd shuttle

Bryan Bulaga
6'6", 314lbs,
40: 5.2
vertical: 27.5"
broad: 98"
3-cone: 7.7
20 yrd shuttle: 4.75

andre Smith
6'4", 332lbs,
40: 5.28
bench: 19
vertical: 25"
broad: 94"
3-cone: 7.88
20 yrd shuttle: 4.93

Gosder Cherilus
6'7", 314lbs,
40: 5.14
bench: 24
vertical: 23"
broad: 102"
3-cone: 7.6
20 yrd shuttle: 4.82

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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