The Detroit Lions have apparently started their “top-30” pre-draft visits, with a wide receiver out of the Big 12 Conference.
NFL teams can start having prospects in for pre-draft visits, and the Detroit Lions have one scheduled with arguably the top cornerback in the draft–Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. According to Mike Kaye of Pro Football Network, the Lions have had Oklahoma State wide receiver Tay Martin in for a “top-30” pre-draft visit. Martin also has the Minnesota Vikings on his pre-draft schedule.
Whereas Gardner, a Detroit native, could count as a local visit and not against the Lions’ allotted 30 visits, Martin counts against that allotment. In a big picture sense, as they look to all draft avenues at wide receivers, it’s meaningful to burn a top-30 visit on a receiver who’s not being mentioned anywhere near the early-round options at the position.
Detroit Lions 2022 NFL Draft: Who is Tay Martin?
Martin split his college career between Washington State and Oklahoma State. He had eight touchdowns for Washington State in 2018, and 18 touchdowns in three seasons there, but his best collegiate season was his final one (80 receptions for 1,046 yards and 10 touchdowns last season).
Martin had a solid week at the Senior Bowl, but he was not invited to the NFL Combine. So Oklahoma State’s Pro Day last week was important. He measured 6-foot-1 and weighed in at 184 pounds, with respectable numbers in the vertical (36 inches) and broad jumps (117 inches). But his 40-yard dash times weren’t stellar (4.68 and 4.59 seconds, unofficially).
Martin gets high marks for his route running. While he’s not big or in possession of blazing speed he shows an ability to get open (“football speed” is the apt term). He stepped into the “X” receiver role for Oklahoma State last year, which is a general skill profile the Lions are looking for, if only beyond 2022 after signing DJ Chark to a one-year deal in free agency.
Martin is likely in the range of seventh-round pick/priority undrafted free agent for teams. Having someone of that ilk in for a top-30 visit feels odd, but the Lions must like something about him and wanted to get to know him better.