Brodric Martin may be the key for the Detroit Lions defense

In an effort to improve the defense the Detroit Lions drafted three defensive players this year, LB-Jack Campbell, DB- Brian Branch and DT- Brodric Martin. It is unusual to expect a rookie defensive tackle to make a big impact however with Martin that view should change. Drafted in the third round pick 96 overall Martin is having a very good training camp and he is not even on the receiving end of his talent.

Ranked 31st in scoring defense and 29th in yards allowed the team gave up 240 rushing yards to the Carolina Panthers in just one half. To say the unit needs improvement is an understatement on a large scale.

BLOOMINGTON, IN – SEPTEMBER 17: Western Kentucky DT Brodric Martin (99) during a college football game between the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and Indiana Hoosiers on September 17, 2022 at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, IN. (Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Brodric Martin from the University of Western Kentucky had just three sacks that does not tell the whole story. The 6′ 4″, Martin has good size for DT who is basically can not be moved one on one. A lot of upper body strength allows Martin to shed would be blockers.

One trait that was noted pre-draft has not been a factor in Lions training camp. Martin was said to be slow off the ball thus far he has been anything but slow off the ball.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 23: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts after being tackled by Aidan Hutchinson #97 of the Detroit Lions during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

So why would a rookie third round draft pick be the key for the Detroit Lions? With defensive pass rushers like Aidan Hutchinson and Romeo Okwara and others Martin’s play and forcing teams to double team him will open up more pass rush chances to the Detroit edge rushers. As seen in practice when Martin was left one on one and sacked the quarterback, then he was double teamed and Hutchinson had two sacks.

To say the Detroit Lions defense will improve is logical given they can not be much worse. Yet the unit looks much improved in camp so far and it is centered around a rookie.

The Detroit Lions are close to being a contending football team and Brodric Martin is about to be a problem. Martin is one player to watch for the Lions as he seems to be what the team has been missing.

Here is a projected post minicamp 53 man roster for the Detroit Lions

The 2023 Detroit Lions have high hopes and high aspirations the team completed minicamp and a vision for the 53-man roster has been cast. Currently sitting with 90 players the team had some standouts during the offseason camp. So what could the roster look like for a team on the rise and a team that has a championship in their sights?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – DECEMBER 18: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions throws a pass against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Quarterbacks- Jared Goff, fresh off a season that saw the veteran signal caller post 29-tds, 7-ints, 4438 yds with a QB rating of 99.32, Goff is the clear cut starter.

Backup- Nate Sudfeld, is the reserve for now as the team drafted Hendon Hooker from the University of Tennessee. Hooker is thought to be the starting QB of the future but he will begin the season on the non-football injury list as he continues to rehab a knee injury suffered last season at Tennessee.

Running Backs- David Montgomery, free agent signee from the Chicago Bears looks to be the starter.

Reserves- Jahmyr Gibbs, Craig Reynolds, Jason Cabinda round out the running backs. Right now there is no projected backup that will playout during training camp.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 04: Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field on December 04, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Wide receivers- The starters look to be; Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jameson Williams* (once his six game suspension is served), and Marvin Jones.

Reserves- Kalif Raymond, Josh Reynolds, Antoine Green

Tight ends- Rookie Sam LaPorta looks the part of the starting TE already. But the Lions will carry three at the position.

Reserves- Brock Wright, James Mitchell round out the TE group and each will see playing time the rotation is unknown at this time.

Offensive line- Unless there is an injury the starters are set in stone, LT Taylor Decker, LG Jonah Jackson, C Frank Ragnow, RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai, RT Penei Sewell form one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.

Reserves- OT Matt Nelson, C Ross Pierschbacher, OL Colby Sorsdal, IOL Graham Glasgow

Defensive Tackle- Starters could be Alim McNeill, Christian Covington

Reserves- Brodric Martin, Isaiah Buggs, personally I could see Buggs make a push for starter. Keep and eye on Benito Jones who I believe will win the remaining DE spot during training camp. It will not be easy, but Jones athleticism looks to give him a leg up.

Edge rusher- Starters are locked in Aidan Hutchinson, and Charles Harris

Reserves- Josh Paschal, John Cominsky, James Houston, Romeo Okwara Paschal, who appeared in 10 after recovering from injury looks to have a larger role.

Linebackers- Starters- Alex Anzalone, Malcolm Rodriguez

Reserves- Derrick Barnes, Jack Campbell, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Anthony Pittman, many believe Campbell will be a starter and very well could be. But starting roles are earned. Based on last season I am giving Rodriguez the nod for now.

Cornerbacks- Starters- Cam Sutton, Jerry Jacobs, C.J. Gardner-Johnson-(in the slot)

Reserves- Will Harris, Brian Branch, Starling Thomas, I can see Branch getting an expanded role soon. He looked good in minicamp.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – NOVEMBER 13: Kerby Joseph #31 of the Detroit Lions in action against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Safeties- Starters- Tracy Walker, Kerby Joseph; Walker is recovering from a torn achilles tendon and could be eased back into action.

Reserves- Saivion Smith, Ifeatu Melifonwu

Specialist- Kicker- Michael Badgley, Punter- Jack Fox, Long snapper- Jake McQuade

That is how I see the Detroit Lions 53- man roster shaping up before training camp opens in July.  Let me know your thoughts on the roster.



The Detroit Lions are ready to swing with the big boys

For Detroit Lions fans, many long suffering like myself the dream is finally becoming a reality. In a pinch me moment of epic proportions the Detroit Lions are becoming legit Super Bowl contenders. So legit there is no “wait for the laughter,” or “where’s the punch line” of which the Lions have been for a long time.  No this is a rebuild that the rest of the NFL is watching very closely.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAR 01: Brad Holmes, general manager of the Detroit Lions speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions and GM, Brad Holmes are doing everything right. That felt both weird and good to put out there. While it is true the Lions have not won a playoff game in 30 years, and coming off an eighth consecutive single digit win seasons, it seems like a lie. But 15 months ago the Detroit Lions had just three wins.

So how did the Lions get to the point they are ready to swing with the big boys from the wreckage of the past? For starters when owner Shelia Ford Hamp and GM, Brad Holmes chose to start from scratch they had a very good starting QB, Matthew Stafford who was traded to the L.A. Rams for a boatload of draft picks, including this years Rams pick at #6 overall……. THANK YOU RAMS!!!!

Brad Holmes, took an axe to the Lions old way of drafting one or two good players, (think Barry Sanders and Herman Moore) and not adding more talent to and around them to build a true winner. Holmes is adding to players like Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams.

Out also went age and in came youth. This was one thing Holmes spoke about early on. The one area that needs the brightest light shown on is Brad Holmes drafting. ESPN’s draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said he gives Holmes an A+ as a drafter. That is hard to argue with.

With two drafts under his belt, all, yes all of Holmes draft picks have not only played but gained more playing time a taken starting jobs away from veterans. Now armed with 9 picks in the first three rounds of this years draft, including 2-first round draft picks and Detroit who was 5-1 last season in divisional games are set to take another step forward.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 02: Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions looks on during the first half of the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field on October 02, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Brad Holmes is heading into year 3 as Lions GM as Dan Campbell is heading into year 3 as head coach. The team they have built and are building is poised to make some serious noise this season. The short term pain (well long term if you’ve followed this team for a while) is about to be washed away.

Headed to the playoffs? The Detroit Lions push forward

No matter if the Detroit Lions are on target or arriving a year early in the organizations rebuild, the 2022-’23 Lions have shown fight and the team is on the cusp of being a pretty good football team. As for the playoffs, a couple key things have to go right one in a stadium the Lions rarely play well, the other is hoping another team can knock off the team currently in the final playoff spot.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 20: A Detroit Lions helmet is seen on the sidelines during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 20, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions head to a place that has been nothing short of a house of horrors for the team on Sunday, Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers. Of course a possible playoff spot would hang in the balance an Lambeau. Yet, this is a golden opportunity for the Lions to end the SOL (same old Lions) once and for all.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell has stated this is the new Lions, players have echoed the coach. Even if the Lions fall on Sunday, the team has taken a big step forward and show the promise of being a very good, competitive team as soon as next season.

A win against the Packers alone will not get Detroit into the NFL Playoffs. The team needs the Los Angeles Rams to beat the Seattle Seahawks to get in. Ironically enough, the Lions hold the Rams first round draft pick which is set to be #6 overall and could be higher, if Seattle beats the Rams.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 01: An Inspire Change logo is seen on the field prior to the game between the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 01, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

For the young Detroit Lions no matter the outcome, this season has been one that the future foundation will hang on. Starting the season 1-6 to then get red hot was a great turnaround. The fact that the Lions are even close to being a possible playoff team is testament to the work GM Brad Holmes, has done.


The 2022 Detroit Lions are changing the narrative

As improbable as it may be the Detroit Lions are in the playoff hunt. No really. After starting the season 1-6 the team has won 6 out of their last 7 games and now stand at 7-7 on the season. Sunday afternoon in New York to play the Jets, the Lions were held in check by a stingy Jets defense most of the day, until it counted most.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – DECEMBER 18: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions throws the ball during the second half a New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Lions QB- Jared Goff who had been lights out the past two weeks had a bit of a let-down game. Yet, when the game was on the line Goff delivered the knockout punch against a solid Jets defense. On 4th and 1, Goff hit TE- Brock Wright on a 51 yard touchdown with 1:49 left in regulation.

The Lions sealed the victory when Jets kicker Greg Zuerlein missed a 58 yard field goal that would have tied the game. For the first time in a long time the Lions were on the right side of special teams. It is the second win the Lions have had in New York city this season. The first came against the Giants.

Not the “Same old Lions,” for years the Lions would have lost a game like today’s. The Lions found a way to come away with the victory despite not playing their best game. That is not a slight on the Jets who are in the playoff chase in the AFC. It shows how far the Lions have come this season.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – DECEMBER 18: Zach Wilson #2 of the New York Jets is sacked by James Houston #59 of the Detroit Lions during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions defense while flawed has found a way to come up with turnovers, sacks and been able to get off the field on third downs. This has been a pleasant turnaround as the defense struggled during the 1-6 start.

Surely you’ve heard the phrase “Good teams find a way.” The rebuilding Detroit Lions are growing into a good team this season. Sunday afternoon on the road in New York the Lions found a way. Proving once again this team is going to be really good very soon.

In the midst of a rebuild the Detroit Lions are playing a big game today

When Brad Holmes took over as GM of the Detroit Lions, both Holmes and Lions Principal Owner, Sheila Ford Hamp said the team was going to rebuild from the ground up. That rebuilds take time, but in order to set future winning up, the rebuild was necessary. Not even two years into a massive rebuild the 5-7 Detroit Lions host the 10-2 Minnesota Vikings today at Ford Field. The 5-7 Lions are favored to win.

ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN – MAY 27: Principal Owner and Chairman Sheila Ford Hamp watches the afternoon practice session with Head Coach Dan Campbell and General Manager Brad Holmes and President Rod Woods on May 27, 2021 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Every fan base of a team the has rebuilt or is rebuilding, looks for a sign that things are trending in the right direction. Rebuilds do take time. How much time is largely dependent on the GM, scouts and head coach. When Brad Holmes took over the Detroit Lions, Holmes took an axe to previous GM Bob Quinn’s roster.

The Lions won just 3 games last season, Holmes has had two very good drafts which is laying the foundation for what is taking place today. with two more wins and still more games to be played the Lions are in the mix for a playoff spot.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 04: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions looks on against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field on December 04, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Jared Goff who was viewed by, well everyone as a bridge quarterback seems to have found a home in Detroit where Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell view him as “THE GUY.” Goff’s numbers back leaderships view of him. 3022- yds passing, 19- td’s 7-ints show why Goff has been to two Pro Bowls and taken the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl.

Still football like every sport is a team game. The Lions defense which struggled mightily to find it’s footing, has done just that the past 4 games. The team has found a pass rush, the secondary has played better and the linebackers are getting to the ball much better.

Still this is not even two years into a big rebuild and the Detroit Lions are favored over a team that has 10 wins and is the division leader. This should excite fans, it should be a warning to the rest of the NFC, the Detroit Lions are coming. They may or may not make the playoffs this season. But they are coming, sooner than later.

Thanks to the Los Angeles Rams, the Detroit Lions look to have a top 5 draft pick

The Detroit Lions are in a bit of an odd position. The rebuild Lions currently sit at 4-7 on the season. The record does not show the improvement the team has made, on field play development does. The Los Angeles Rams, last years Super Bowl Champions were supposed to be in the mix for another trip to the big game, instead inconsistent play and major injuries have lead to a 3-8 record. This is good news for the Lions.

DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 24: Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) and Detroit Lions linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez (44) look on while waiting for play to resume after a timeout during a regular season NFL football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day on November 24, 2022 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

During last years offseason the Detroit Lions traded longtime starting quarterback Matthew Stafford to the L.A. Rams, the Lions received a 2022 and 2023 first round draft pick, a 2021 third round draft pick and Rams quarterback Jared Goff. The Lions used their first pick #2 overall to draft Aiden Hutchinson and traded up to draft Alabama WR- Jameson Williams.

This season for the Rams, WR- Cooper Kupp had surgery and is out another 3-weeks. All world defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been ruled out for the Rams game this weekend. Matthew Stafford,  left tackle Joesph Noteboom and safety Jordan Fuller are all on injured reserve ending their seasons.

The free falling Rams would currently be draft at #4 overall if they had the draft pick. Instead the improving Detroit Lions hold that #4 pick as well as the #14 overall pick if the season ended today.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAR 01: Brad Holmes, general manager of the Detroit Lions speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

In other words, Lions GM- Brad Holmes has set the Lions up very well. It seems likely the Lions will draft a QB with that top 5- draft pick. The team can cut Jared Goff without salary cap penalty in the offseason. There also could be a trade market for Goff with QB needy teams who are picking lower in the draft.

Nobody could see the Rams fall coming. They are put together well. This could be the classic Super Bowl hangover, at least the Rams hope it is. For the Detroit Lions, they will take it. As noted the teams young players have taken big steps in development.

Rebuilds take time, this rebuild is one Detroit Lions can can get behind.

The Detroit Lions are trending in the right direction, here’s why

The Detroit Lions who lost a Thanksgiving Day tilt against the Buffalo Bills 28-25 are trending in the right direction. That may seem odd to hear coming on the heals of a loss, but it is true. Before Thanksgiving Day the Lions had won three games in a row and looked very good in doing so. So how after a loss are they on the up and up? Let’s dive in.

PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 28: Jaylen Warren #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball in front of James Houston #59 of the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium on August 28, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Rookie, LB- Malcolm Rodriguez and LB- James Houston have played very well. Rodriguez has seen his playing time increase and has performed at a consistent level most of the season. While fellow rookie LB- James Houston who was elevate from the practice squad, started his first game vs the Bills and had 2-solo tackles and 2-quarterback sacks.

Yet, two players do not allow a team to trend in the right direction there have been others. Second year WR- Amon-Ra St. Brown continues to shine, as does many of GM’s Brad Holmes first two draft classes. The Lions are laying a foundation for success. That success now seems as if it is not all that far away.

The Detroit Lions have a bunch (9) draft picks in next springs NFL Draft. They have over $80 million in cap space. NFL rebuild can be quick if the GM is on his (or hopefully soon hers) game. Holmes has shown he has what it takes to build a solid football team.

The Lions still need help. Linebacker still needs some attention, quarterback, tight end, secondary. Again with 9 draft pick early, the team can address a couple of these areas and help push the team along.

On a side note and not player related, the coaching staff must do a better job with clock management. More than once poor clock management has cost the Lions. That will hopefully improve the more games are played.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – NOVEMBER 24: Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions reacts against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Ford Field on November 24, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Fans should be excited for the future of the Detroit Lions. The foundation is solid, soon it will be time to add to that foundation which can do nothing but solidify the foundation.


For the first time in 5 years the Detroit Lions have won 3 in a row

A few weeks ago the Detroit Lions fired defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant. Speaking about the firing, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said “I just want to see us all on the same page, If we’re going to get beat, it’s because we’re—maybe we’re getting outrun or we’re not quite in-phase, but at least we’re kinda there. We gotta cut our mentals (mistakes) in half.” Winners of 3 in row, it looks like Campbell was right.

I am not a fan of pinning struggles on one individual. Yet, there is no mistaking the Detroit Lions have played much better since Pleasant was dismissed. Again, the secondary struggles were not entirely on the coach.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 20: Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions carries the ball against the New York Giants during the first half at MetLife Stadium on November 20, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

For the first time since November 2017, the Lions have won 3 in a row. This is really big for an organization that has been rebuilding. After beating the Chicago Bears last week in Chicago, Campbell said it is important for the Lions to start to string some wins together. He is dead right. There needs to be signs that the rebuild is trending in the right direction.

Sunday afternoon the Lions again on the road in New York, the Lions took on the 7-2 Giants. The Lions played their best game of the season beating the Giants 31-18. It was a complete game by the Lions.

The Detroit defense held the NFL’s rushing leader Saquon Barkley to 22 yards on 15 carries. Rookie Aiden Hutchinson, continued to show why the team selected #2 overall in the NFL Draft. The 6′ 7″ Hutchinson came up huge for the Lions with 6:09 left in the second quarter, Hutchinson intercepted Giants QB Daniel Jones. The Lions used it to propel to victory.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 20: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions congratulates Jamaal Williams #30 of the Detroit Lions after a touchdown against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 20, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The young Detroit Lions are heading in the right direction. Players are taking steps in their development and starting to get the results on the field. The Lions take on the Buffalo Bills Thanksgiving Day.

The Detroit Lions are setup for success in the very near future

Success is not a word often associated with the Detroit Lions. Through the years and decades the Lions have had limited runs of success not consistent or prolonged for sure, this time however, it feels different. GM Brad Holmes has drafted very well in the two NFL Drafts he has lorded over. The Detroit Lions roster is not built to win many games this season, the team currently sits at 2-6 on the season. When the offseason rolls around, all bets are off.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – NOVEMBER 06: Kerby Joseph #31 of the Detroit Lions intercepts a pass intended for Robert Tonyan #85 of the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on November 06, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

Armed with seven draft picks including two-first round picks, The Lions are set to bring in another solid draft class and perhaps a franchise quarterback. The Lions young offensive playmakers and solid offensive line would be ideal for a young QB.

The Lions defense has been a bit of a mess, but the unit has started to play better as of late. Rookie safety Kirby Joseph has stood out and was named Defensive Player of the Week last week for his two-interception 10-total tackle performance against the Green Bay Packers.

As stated, Brad Holmes has done a very good draft, no real surprise there given the GM spearheaded the Los Angeles Rams draft and helped put a Super Bowl Championship team on the field in L.A. Last week in a move that surprised some Holmes traded TE T.J. Hockenson to the division rival Minnesota Vikings for more draft picks.

By trading Hockenson, Holmes freed up more money and the Lions now have $80 million in salary cap room. In other words, Brad Holmes is going shopping during the offseason. Free agents will be brought while as the young core is gaining experience playing games.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 01: Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 1, 2022, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

So to recap, Brad Holmes drafts very well, with seven draft picks and an outstanding quarterback class, Holmes can draft his franchise QB. $80 million in cap space, suggests that Holmes will address needs at safety, cornerback linebacker nudging the Lions closer to contention.

What Holmes has asked Lions fans to do with saying it publicly is to sit through one more bad season. His moves have set the Lions up for prolonged success.