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2014 NFL Mock Draft: Steelers select OT Zach Martin

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A pick off the beaten path, Russ Lande adds a new name to the discussion trough.

USA TODAY Sports

It's been a while since we've seen a projection of the Steelers dipping into the offensive tackle pool.

Why not dive right back into it?

Montreal Alouettes Director of Scouting Russ Lande, a well-respected scout and analyst, having positions with the National Football Post among other publications. He combined with Matt Tainer (one of the best reads you'll find) and Dan Pompei, one of the longest-tenured draft writers around on an early mock draft on Sports on Earth.

We're focusing on Lande's pick for the Steelers because it's the most interesting. Pompei and Tainer both sent Ha Ha Wintry Mix Clinton-Dix to the Steelers at 15, but Lande gave them Zach Martin, an offensive tackle from Notre Dame.

His reasoning:

The Steelers offensive line has been an issue for a number of years, leading to massive offensive struggles. Martin is a thickly built offensive tackle with the footwork and overall technique to excel blocking on the edge. While it will surprise many that we have him being drafted before Cyrus Kouandjio and Taylor Lewan, the reality is Martin is a smoother, more consistent player

We've supported the argument as much as we've supported the players selected in this running feature. It should be noted Lande was also one of the few analysts who wrote about Cortez Allen, lauding his potential, in 2011. He makes a compelling case for Martin, even if we strongly disagree with the idea of bringing an offensive tackle not named Jake Matthews to the Steelers with a first round pick.

At the same time, Lande has a very interesting perspective (the only writer who's convinced me of Johnny Manziel's long-term viability), in all of his prospect-related writing. The notion of Martin being a top 15 pick is perhaps not the standard, it does create an interesting name to discuss.