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Notre Dame's Zack Martin said to be a New York Giants favorite

The New York Giants will be looking to upgrade their offensive line in the draft, and the player the team might be zeroing in on is a bit of a surprise -- Notre Dame's Zack Martin.

The Giants -- who pick 12th in the first round -- are "extremely high" on Martin (6-foot-4, 308 pounds), the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reported, and they like him more than Michigan's Taylor Lewan, whom the team brought in last week.

"Word on the street is that the Giants prefer Martin to Lewan," the Star-Ledger reported. "The Notre Dame product comes with less baggage and, despite common perception, is more physical in the run game."

Martin's versatility is a big selling point. He played left tackle with the Irish, but also could play right tackle or even guard in the NFL. New York's left tackle last season was Will Beatty, who might be a better fit on the right side. In one scenario, Martin could play left tackle, Beatty right tackle and Justin Pugh -- last year's first-rounder who started at right tackle -- could move inside to guard. If the Giants are comfortable with their tackles, Martin could be a guard. Or if the coaches like Beatty on the left side, Martin could be the right tackle and Pugh becomes a guard.

Martin generally is considered the fourth-best tackle in the draft, behind (in some order) Lewan, Texas A&M's Jake Matthews and Auburn's Greg Robinson. But if you consider him a guard, he likely would be atop that list.

Each of the top three tackles could be gone by the time the Giants pick. The last time four tackles went in the top 12? Try last year, when four went in the top 11.

NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock serves as the analyst for NBC's telecasts of Notre Dame games, and he is high on Martin. Mayock questions whether the Giants will have a shot at drafting him.

"I've been banging the table for Zack Martin," Mayock said on "The Rich Eisen Podcast" on Tuesday. "I had a bunch of scouts tell me before the Senior Bowl that he'd never get into the first round; now they're talking about him in the top 10. So Zack Martin's a guy that I'm really excited about."

The Star-Ledger said one player who isn't likely to be in play for the Giants with the No. 12 pick is North Carolina's Eric Ebron, universally considered the top tight end in the draft.

"Everything I've heard in recent months and weeks indicates the Giants aren't especially high on him, and that they won't draft him at No. 12," the Star-Ledger's Jordan Raanan wrote. "Even though misdirection is common this time of the year, that disqualified him for this list."

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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