According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Detroit Lions have another meeting set up with an interior offensive lineman. Marcus Martin, formerly of the 49ers and Browns, will be meeting with the team shortly:
G/C Marcus Martin will visit the Lions and Cowboys. Martin is a former third-round pick of the Niners. Started for parts of two seasons in SF. Spent last season with the Browns.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 17, 2018
Martin, a 2014 third-round pick, has yet to see his NFL career take off. In his first three years with the 49ers, Martin started 24 total games: 22 at center, one at right guard and one at left guard. According to Pro Football Focus, the results were ugly. At the end of the 2015 season:
Re-signing LG Alex Boone should be a priority, but the right-side of the line, including their pivot, Marcus Martin, has major issues. Martin has actually regressed from his rookie season, and ranks 37th of 41 centers for PFF, at 27.3.
After Martin was waived by the 49ers and claimed by the Browns in 2017:
A former third-round pick, Martin has never lived up to his hype coming out of USC in 2014. After posting a run-blocking grade of 29.4 in 2015, Martin played just 110 snaps in 2016, seeing time both at right guard and center.
Martin would end up riding the bench for the entire 2017 season with the Browns—who actually had a somewhat solid offensive line last year (team averaged 4.5 YPC).
It’s hard to know what exactly has gone wrong in Martin’s career thus far. He was actually the first center taken off the board in the 2014 NFL Draft. Coming out of USC at a prototypical size for an interior lineman, some analysts criticized Martin, saying he “lacks desirable grit” and “is not a strong finisher.”
Detroit is likely taking a look to see if Martin could potentially reclaim his football career. At 24 years old, Martin could still have a long career ahead of him, but at this point he’s running out of chances. The Lions have big need along the interior of the offensive line, and Martin’s stature and versatility are certainly attractive qualities to have.
However, the Lions have already signed free agent guard Kenny Wiggins this offseason and have met with Matt Slauson. Martin will need to show some serious potential if he wants to be signed, and he’ll have to work his butt off to earn a roster spot beyond that.