The Detroit Lions needed some extra toughness for their roster on defense in the draft, and while they may have found it in multiple players, it still might not be that much of a stretch to say that one man could provide it all himself.
Linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez from Oklahoma State is a major spark plug. He’s always near the ball and makes a ton of plays for his team, and the Lions will now be the ones to reap the rewards of that.
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Detroit tapped Rodriguez with a day three selection and quickly, folks have awakened to his talent and nose for the big play in his new city. Those traits have been on radars all along across league circles, however, and analyst Brian Baldinger would likely be the first to admit that.
Before the draft, Baldinger provided a quick breakdown of what he liked about Rodriguez and his game. As he shows in the highlights, Rodriguez is quick to the ball and very explosive. He’s also able to make plenty of correct plays.
To put it succinctly at the end of the video, Baldinger says he likes Rodriguez and believes he’s going to be good.
“Malcolm Rodriguez. Hell of a football player,” Baldinger says in the clip to close it out.
NFL guys like Baldinger watching the tape see what Rodriguez can be, so it will be fun to watch his development when he comes into the league and what he can do with the Lions when the games get going for real.
Rodriguez Pick Was Popular With Analysts Real-Time
Right after the pick, folks were immediately drawing comparisons between Rodriguez and his new head coach Dan Campbell, which could prove in some folks’ minds to make him a major fit for the Lions given the player’s overall grit.
Indeed, the selection of Rodriguez by Detroit was championed as a “banger” by Derrik Klassen. As he said, though he fights size concerns, he is a fun player to watch and is smart and athletic.
It wasn’t just major analysts loving the pick, though. Fans appreciated it as well, calling Rodriguez a dog of a player.
Now, this dog gets to join the cats, and it sure seems like he could become a fan favorite for the team along the way given how he plays.
Rodriguez’s College Stats & Highlights
Watching the tape, it’s easy to see what folks are so excited about with regard to Rodriguez. He is one of those players who always seems to work his way into big plays because he is near the ball constantly. The stats are fairly insane for Rodriguez, given 408 college tackles, 32 tackles for-loss, 7.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 11 passes defended and a whopping 13 fumbles, a very high total.
Here’s a look at the clips:
Safe to say Lions fans will like Rodriguez when they get to know him in a big way, and he has already made some impressive highlight reels coming into the league.