NFL Draft Grades: Zack Martin "Is A True Ass-Kicker"

Martin (70) celebrating after kicking some ass for a goal-line touchdown. - Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

A review of the draft grades the Cowboys have received so far for their first-round pick.

Grading a draft a mere hours after after the last pick is generally frowned on by the more hardcore football fan who knows that drafts can't really be graded until three to four years after the fact. But like the site of an accident, many people also find it hard not to look once such a grade is published.

If the review is good, you cling to it and hope that it will carry over onto the field when the season starts. If it is bad, you can simply shrug it off and say it doesn't matter anyway and post-draft grades are for the weak-of-mind.

Regardless, what the grades do is - to some extent - they capture the general feeling about a draft immediately after it is over. In this post, we'll look at eight writers who have submitted their grades for the Cowboys already (and we'll update the post with more grades as they become available).

Cowboys Draft Grades 2014
Long Ball, Drafttek

A

While most of this draft should concentrate on defensive needs, "Romo Friendly" is still pertinent and 1 more stud on the OL will benefit that cause. Zack Martin can learn the NFL game inside at OG in 2014 and become a potential replacement for Doug Free (who is a Free Agent in 2015) at ROT. Not your typical "Notre Dame OL"; footwork is extremely good, keeps his feet under him, plays with his butt low to accentuate his power on blocking technique, as illustrated against Stanford.
Michael Collins, Fansided

A

A physical presence in the run game, Martin is one of those road grater type blockers who just moves defenders out of his path. He’ll take some refining on his pass protection, but he still may be better than anything the Cowboys currently have even as raw as he is. While the excitement of having Manziel playing in the JerryDome would have been fun for fans and might have made for good TV rating, the bottom line is that the Cowboys made themselves a better team with this pick. No sizzle, just steak.
Pete Prisco, CBSSports:

B+

This is a good pick for a team that needed line help. They didn't get caught up in the hype. The line will be damn good.
Doug Farrar, SI.com

B

Over and over on tape, Martin shows that he’s a true ass-kicker, with a fiery mentality and tremendous upper-body strength. He’ll have to get comfortable with a few new things, but he wouldn’t be the first college tackle to kick inside – and he may wind up as one of the best. 
Walter Football

B

So much for Johnny Manziel being the pick. He was never a realistic option, though this is a bit of an upset in that the Cowboys aren't upgrading the third-worst defense of all time (according to yardage allowed). However, this pick still makes sense. The Cowboys needed a guard upgrade for 2014 and a future right tackle if they can't retain Doug Free. Zack Martin was expected to go around the 12th pick, so there's a decent amount of value here. Having said that, Jones may regret not upgrading his stop unit when the Eagles, Redskins and Giants all put up 30 on his team.
Bryan Perez, Firstroundgrade.com

B

The Cowboys resisted temptation and made a smart, logical selection. For the second year in a row, Jerry Jones addresses offensive line and is slowly but surely creating a very, very talented front five. While the need was at safety, the selection of Martin is a really solid one.
Matthew Fairburn, SB Nation

B

Remember when Dallas had what many considered to be one of the league's worst offensive lines? A couple draft classes later and it's becoming a strength of the team. Owner Jerry Jones wisely played it safe and chose to protect his franchise quarterback instead of looking for a new one.
Bryan Fisher, NFL.com:

Good pick, good fit

The skinny: Jerry, how could you! The Cowboys passed on Johnny Manziel, but they did address a much more pressing need in beefing up the offensive line with one of the most versatile linemen in the draft. Tony Romo, bad back and all, is pretty happy after Thursday night.

In a poll conducted last night immediately after the draft here on BTB, 55% of BTB users gave the pick an "A" grade, 36% gave it a "B" grade. Now that you've had a night to sleep over it, how do you feel about the pick?

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