P Sam Martin (Appalachian State) - Round 5, Pick No. 165
The Detroit Lions were in need of a new punter after struggling mightily at the position in 2012, and they decided to draft one by taking Sam Martin in the fifth round. The pick took some people by surprise, but the Lions were definitely in need of an upgrade in the punting department.
Martin has ties to the state of Michigan via his parents, as his dad played college baseball at Eastern Michigan and his mom is from Union Lake.
What the experts are saying
A former soccer standout, Martin played just one year of football in high school before going to Appalachian State.
Martin has the versatility to handle all three phases of the kicking game. He shows an adequate leg and gets good distance and hang time on his punts. Martin also has enough leg to drive the ball on his kickoffs. The good news for Martin is that punter Blake Clingan and kicker David Akers are not entrenched at their positions. So it looks like an open competition.
2009: 52 punts, 40.0 avg. (long of 74)
2010: 60 punts, 39.2 avg. (long of 63)
2011: 54 punts, 40.7 avg. (long of 69)
2012: 60 punts, 45.9 avg. (long of 68)
Outlook for 2013
Martin will compete with Blake Clingan for the starting punter job in training camp. While we shouldn't completely rule out Clingan in this competition, you don't draft a punter in the fifth round unless you think he will be your starter for years to come. In other words, expect Martin to be the starting punter for this season and hopefully beyond.