The Lions made no apologies Saturday for trading down 28 spots in the fifth round to take Appalachian State punter Sam Martin. "We liked him there," general manager Martin Mayhew said. "We had a high grade on him and we felt it was a good time to get him. He's got a good opportunity to make our team and be our starting punter." The Lions traded the 137th pick to the Seahawks — who took Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams — to take Martin. "If you've got a late fifth-round pick and the punters typically go in the sixth round, that might be the right time to take them before somebody else does," Mayhew explained. "That's how we felt about Sam." The punter the Lions had slightly ahead of Martin on their board, UCLA's Jeff Locke, was taken by the Vikings with the 155th pick in the fifth round. "He's got a live leg," coach Jim Schwartz said. Martin was the third-leading punter in Division 1-AA last year, averaging 45.9 yards last season, putting 25 of 60 punts inside the 20. Appalachian State ranked second nationally in net punting. He also handled kickoffs, averaging 63.1 yards.
Lions draft pick Sam Martin a late bloomer at punter
Detroit News | Apr 28