5 players who must shine at Detroit Lions minicamp

Mandatory minicamp is going this week for the Detroit Lions, and these five players must seize the opportunity to stand out.
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4. DT Brodric Martin

Martin was seen as a developmental prospect when the Lions took him in the third round of the 2023 draft, making the step from Western Kentucky to the NFL. So it wasn't too surprising he didn't play a lot as a rookie, but three games and 28 defensive snaps still landed as disappointing.

Martin clearly followed the example set by Alim McNeill, reshaping his body this offseason and looking noticeable slimmer during OTAs. He'll never be a small man, but a change in body composition is a sign of progress as he eyes contributing far more in Year 2.

Martin has noted how the mental side of the game is easier for him now. Upon signing with the Lions, DJ Reader mentioned how he couldn't wait to mentor Martin, and new defensive line coach Terrell Williams may benefit the second-year man more than any other Lions' defensive lineman in terms of his technical skills (hand usage, etc.).

Martin has nowhere to go but up after barely playing as a rookie. His development track should, and needs to, continue during minicamp. Even if, as defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn pointed out (via Kory Woods of MLive) that not much be said about anyone's improvement when "you're in your underwear."

3. WR Jameson Williams

No less an authority than head coach Dan Campbell called Williams the most-improved Lions' player this offseason, saying the young receiver has improved "everywhere." Williams sounds like a more mature man and player, ready to take on the expectations he will have a breakout campaign this year.

If nothing else, good, bad or indifferent, Williams will be one of the most-watched players at Lions' minicamp this week. If he makes a highlight-reel catch, we'll see in post-practice reports when the media is on-site, and the Lions' social media accounts will surely post the video. If he drops a pass, or multiple passes, it'll also be documented and scrutinized.

Offseason work with no pads on being what it is in terms of overhype/overreaction, Williams needs to keep his offseason momentum going right through minicamp. No injuries of any scale, sharp in his details by all accounts and showing his play-making ability will be a win heading toward the time off before training camp.