Skip to main content

Martin feels 'a lot more ready' to contribute in second season

Until the pads come on in training camp and the hitting begins, it's impossible to truly evaluate offensive and defensive line play and any gains young players along both lines have made to their game.

One of the things we can glean from the spring is the body transformation young players in this league sometimes go through. We saw it last year with Lions defensive lineman Alim McNeill, who lost 13 percent body fat and it led to a breakout season in 2023.

Second-year defensive lineman Brodric Martin had a front-row seat to the transformation McNeill made and said he went through his own this offseason.

"I took some of what he did and tried to transform my body because he did it and it helped him out perfectly," Martin said after Thursday's OTA practice in Allen Park. "I started to eat right and got a chef. It started with eating right for me."

View photos from Day 5 of Detroit Lions OTA practice on Thursday, May 30, 2024 in Allen Park, Mich.

Martin said he also lost fat and gained back muscle. The body transformation has been noticeable.

"Listen, he has adjusted his body to be an NFL defensive lineman," Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said of Martin. "The thing that we do know is the mentality is there, so since the mentality is there, now let's see if that's going to actually happen when training camp comes. So you guys see exactly, or you guys will hear exactly what you need to hear once the pads come on."

At 6-foot-5 and 330 pounds, Martin struggled at times as a rookie with his pad level and hand technique. He was making a giant leap in competition level as a third-round pick out of Western Kentucky.

He said Thursday he wasn't ready to play as a rookie, and it takes a lot to admit that. He played in three games and just 28 total snaps as a rookie but expects to be a bigger part of the defensive line rotation in his second season.

"I do feel a lot more ready (to play)," he said.

The addition of veteran DJ Reader to the defensive line room has been a huge help for him too, Martin said.

"That dude is a good vet," he said of Reader. "He's been helping me out. When I talk to him he's already done watched the film on me and all that and he lets me know what I need to do and what I need to get better on and how I look at stuff. He's a good vet to have. Good person. I'm glad he's here. It means a lot to me. I never spoke to him before he got here and that fact that he wants to do that for me is love. I really appreciate him for that."

Martin said he's in a really good place mentally heading into training camp.

"The kid wants it, he's working, and he's improving," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said of Martin. "We've just got to get him reps and training camp's going to be pivotal for him with the pads on."

Related Content