“Best of the best” list are a fun way to pass the time during the lull of the NFL offseason and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler has taken it upon himself to put together such a list. He recently paneled more than 50 league executives, coaches, scouts, and players to determine the top 10 at 11 different positions. While the results could be somewhat biased, it’s still interesting to find out which players rank where at their given positions.
Fowler’s top 10 rankings is for the interior offensive line positions has posted. As you probably already expect, Dallas Cowboys future Hall of Famer, and current right guard, Zack Martin, not only made the top 10 list, but landed just shy of the top spot at No. 2. This only confirms what we already know about No. 70. He is without a doubt one of the best at his position, if not the best.
Highest ranking: 1 | Lowest ranking: 7
Age: 31 | Last year’s ranking: 2
Martin had one of his better seasons, registering a 93.9 Pro Football Focus rating, committing two penalties and allowing just three sacks in 1,036 snaps. His pass block win rate (94.7%) and run block win rate (72.4%) were both in the top 10 among guards. Nelson might be the golden child at the guard position, but Martin is the gold standard.
“He’s a pro’s pro, smarter than s---,” an NFC offensive coach said. “Never have to worry about him in a one-on-one in the run or pass game, doesn’t miss assignments, knows his body, trains, understands when to push and when to back off. He’s the quintessential guard.”
And he’s quintessentially durable. Martin has missed nine games in eight NFL seasons and has had a pass block win rate under 94% only once since 2017.
According to the outcome of the rankings, only Quenton Nelson of the Indianapolis Colts is a better interior offensive lineman than Zack Martin. But, it’s also really interesting to see that the Cowboys seven-time Pro Bowler also received votes as the top interior offensive lineman as did Brandon Scherff, now of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
This is where a little bit of bias could come into play, but nonetheless, all three are extremely talented players who are neck and neck with one another as being the best at their position. It’s difficult to argue with the results no matter how they turned out. One thing is for sure, the Dallas Cowboys are extremely fortunate to have Zack Martin on their team.
The perennial Pro Bowler is the glue that holds the Cowboys offensive line together and has done so ever since joining the organization back in 2014. The 31-year-old still has a lot of good football ahead of him and should remain a key fixture on Dallas’ OL for several more years. Maybe by this time next year he can slide into the No. 1 spot in the top 10 interior offensive line rankings.