Skip to main content

Brodric Martin: 'I've Gotta Come Correct'

Detroit Lions rookie defensive tackle Brodric Martin knows he needs to keep working on his craft.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

NFL teams can never have enough defensive tackles that are able to clog up running lanes for the opposition. And, the Detroit Lions certainly realized that when they targeted Brodric Martin in the third round (No. 96 overall) of this past April's NFL Draft.

The big-bodied Martin, who stands in at 6-foot-5, 330 pounds, was an unheralded draft prospect coming out of Western Kentucky.

Martin played a total of five collegiate seasons, with the first three coming at North Alabama. He then transferred to Western Kentucky for his final two years.

In his time with the Hilltoppers, he produced 62 total tackles, including six for loss, and four sacks.

Martin, with his small-school resume, was viewed as a developmental project coming out of college, and wasn't supposed to be ready to log snaps come Week 1 of his rookie campaign.

Yet, according to Lions head coach Dan Campbell, Martin is presently trending in the direction of being ready for Detroit's season opener with the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

"We see a level of growth," Campbell said in camp this week about Martin. "With his size, his length and his strength, you want to see if you can get him to come along a little quicker, potentially. I think that’s what it is. If we saw a player that up to this point was not growing and you’re afraid he’s going to get somebody hurt by being in there, we’re not going to do it.

"The faster he can get worked in and have to go through that, and the more early he gets trucked, or gets worked and gets moved, man, it’ll be so good for him, for any of those (first-year pros). That’s the best way to grow, is to get exposed and then learn from it."

Martin's progress early on in training camp is a credit to the rookie defensive tackle's commitment to working on his craft and continuing to get better. He's consistently worked on improving his pad level and footwork, and it's allowed him to already garner some first-team reps on the defensive line.

These first-team reps have seen him match up against a pair of Pro Bowl offensive linemen: veteran center Frank Ragnow and left guard Jonah Jackson. It was an eye-opening experience for Martin, to say the least. 

"It was one of them (moments) where it was like, 'Okay, I've gotta come correct, or it ain't going to look too good for me,'" Martin told reporters this week at the Lions' Allen Park practice facility.  

Martin has made it clear he isn't going to back down from any challenge, and it's all part of his plan to be ready to line up against the Chiefs on September 7.

"Definitely, just being there (in Kansas City), with those fans, with that O-line, I definitely have envisioned the whole thing, making plays," Martin expressed. "The (fans) going to be live, and it's just going to amp me up, too. It's going to amp you up or you're going to shy from it, and I'm not the type of person to shy from it."