Rookie Brodric Martin making a real push to be Lions starting nose tackle

In the early several days of training camp, rookie Brodric Martin is making a real push to be the Lions' No. 1 nose tackle.

It's safe to say Detroit Lions everywhere rejoiced when the traded a couple Day 3 draft picks to move back into the third round of April's draft. But with No. 96 overall pick, the selection of Western Kentucky defensive tackle Brodric Martin was a surprising one. Draft grades, for whatever they're worth, did not have him as a Day 2 pick.

As it turns out, even Martin himself was shocked when the Lions called him as the third round wound down. The draft party he was having was set to extend to another day, before it didn't have to.

Isaiah Buggs was solid at nose tackle down the stretch for the Lions last season, as the run defense notably improved (aside from "that game" against the Carolina Panthers). But head coach Dan Campbell cited a desire to reduce his workload, so he can be more effective. So that explains the Martin pick as much as anything.

Brodric Martin is making a push to be the Lions' No. 1 nose tackle

Martin has been getting some prominent reps at training camp, which is meaningful even if defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn has attempted to reduce the meaning.

On the first play of last Saturday's practice, where the defense had a standout day, Martin set the tone.

"Rookie defensive tackle Brodric Martin blew into the backfield on the first team rep of the day and stoned running back David Montgomery for a big loss. The play drew oohs and aahs from players as well as fans.

Then a video board showed the replay, and it became clear who the kid beat.

It was All-Pro center Frank Ragnow, one of the best players on the team.

“He’s strong, man,” Ragnow said as he came off the field. “He’s got to play with better pad level though.”"

Kyle Meinke, MLive

A critique of Martin in the pre-draft process, who stands 6-foot-5 to go along with being 330 pounds, is that he plays too high. But Campbell has noted his progress early in camp, and that seemed to continue on Monday.

After Monday's practice, Buggs was captured doing a little technique work with Martin.

Martin has made it clear his goal is to play a significant role for the Lions right away. Buggs isn't going away, but the rookie is well on his way to making it hard to keep him off the field.


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