If there is one player I hope that the Atlanta Falcons choose to become their next starting center, it is Notre Dame’s Nick Martin, the younger brother of Dallas Cowboys guard Zack Martin. Martin has the pedigree, the toughness, the size, and the versatility to become a great interior offensive lineman in this league like his older brother.
While Nick Martin did suffer a season-ending knee injury in 2013, he projects as a second to third round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. At 6-4, 296 pounds, Martin could play well in both a zone blocking scheme or potentially a man blocking scheme should the Atlanta Falcons have to change offensive systems in the next couple of years.
Martin’s best NFL comparison is Cleveland Browns’ center Alex Mack, who with left tackle Joe Thomas anchor the NFL’s best offensive line in 2015. It’s a shame really that the Browns can’t get it together at quarterback.
Having an older brother already in the league who has been to a Pro Bowl bodes well for shortening the learning curve for Nick Martin as he begins his NFL journey. The overall competitiveness and strong lower body makes him able to play either guard or center in the NFL. Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn loves players that can play multiple positions.
It’s hard to not imagine Nick Martin playing for anybody other than the Atlanta Falcons in 2016. Atlanta would probably use its second round pick on him. If he’s still available in the third round, there is no way that the Atlanta Falcons pass up drafting him thrice. It’ll be like drafting a Jake Matthews type of player on the interior this spring should the Falcons go with Nick Martin.