Lions Cheered for Late ‘Banger Pick’ of Linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez

Malcolm Rodriguez

Getty Malcolm Rodriguez on the podium at Fiesta Bowl in 2022.

Defense has been a must for the Detroit Lions in the 2022 NFL draft, so it was not a surprise to see the team continue to add to the position with late picks on day three.

Specifically, it was not a surprise to see the Lions adding a linebacker, especially after the team skipped on doing that day two in order to add pieces elsewhere. Worrying about All of that could be a waste of time, though, with Malcolm Rodriguez now in the fold at pick 188.

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Rodriguez was the selection for Detroit, and folks were not shocked to see that being the case seeing the profile of the player. Like most other players in Detroit’s class, Rodriguez is tough, gritty, physical, athletic and has a nose and a sixth sense for making big plays. analyst Lance Zierlein loved Rodriguez in the process, and as he wrote, he believes other teams are going to pay the price for passing on the prospect.

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 Has Played Tons of Sports Before

It’s not a surprise to see Rodriguez as a dominant player in college football considering what he has done in the past with regards to all sports. Rodriguez played quarterback in high school. He also played baseball, and was a wrestler as well. That’s according to a tweet from Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, via The Athletic’s Dane Brugler’s scouting report of the player.

“From Dane Brugler’s scouting report on Rodriguez, the linebacker won three straight state titles in high school as a dual-threat quarterback and also two state wrestling titles. Also lettered in baseball,” Rogers tweeted.

Being around tons of sports typically translates to a great overall ability to impact the game, and it’s not shocking to see the Lions hone in on Rodriguez, even late in the draft. He plays with effort and has shown the ability to excel in whatever sport he chooses.

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 that talk is already circulating after his selection.

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