Late on Day 2 of April's draft, the Detroit Lions traded back up into the third round to take Western Kentucky defensive tackle Brodric Martin. It was an eye brow-raiser, as Martin was an unknown out of a smaller school and he was widely projected to be a late-round pick. Even he thought so, as he was ready to extend his draft party to Day 3 before the Lions called.
Martin has been a healthy scratch in each of the Lions' first five games this season. Alim McNeill, Isaiah Buggs and Benito Jones are all playing well, making it hard for the rookie to crack that interior defensive line rotation. To say nothing of any development he has to do. But the Lions have the luxury to not rush him into significant snaps, and they appear to be taking advantage of it.
Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn was asked a lot about Martin during his press conference Thursday.
Aaron Glenn talks extensively about Brodric Martin
Via SI.com, here's how Glenn addressed Martin not being up for a game yet this season and his general development track behind the scenes.
"Well I can’t exactly say when he’s gonna play, but I’ll tell you what, I like where he’s at. I like how he’s improving," That’s what we talk about with that player all the time. As far as his awareness, as far as how we play defense for the most part. Excited about that player still. He’s still a big body that can move. Each week, him getting a chance to go against our O-line is the best thing he can really have.”
As far as what Martin has been working on, Glenn got specific.
Lateral agility, for one, and he’s working on that after practice like every day," Glenn said. "That’s the first thing. The second thing is hand placement. That’s something that’s been different for him, where he’s putting his hands and just understanding the way we play defense.”
Martin is certainly being helped, as other defensive lineman have, by going against the Lions' offensive line in practice every day. But it does not look like Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be his season debut.