Lions Rookie Defender Sees New Starter Snaps in Practice

Aaron Glenn

Getty Aaron Glenn looks on during Lions vs. Bengals in 2021.

Detroit Lions linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez has seen a meteoric rise in recent days, as his star has grown since Hard Knocks.

Many folks forget, however, what started this rise in the first place. Initially, it was Rodriguez showing up and impressing on the football field with his solid and gritty play day in and day out before cameras were turned on.

After Week 1 of the preseason, the Lions coaching staff seems inclined to want to get Rodriguez some more work. In the first day of joint practices with the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit even turned Rodriguez loose with the starters according to Benjamin Raven of MLive.com.

“Lions rookie LB Malcolm Rodriguez working with first-team defense against Colts first-team offense out here,” Raven tweeted.

It isn’t just that Rodriguez is exciting, though. He’s actually a very good football player as well, something that was pointed out by Tone Digz of The Pat McAfee Show on Twitter while watching practice on Wednesday:

“44 Rodrigo fun to watch vs run,” Digz tweeted.

Ahead of Week 2 of the preseason, this may be the start of something good for Rodriguez. It will be fascinating to see what he does with his chance to impress the staff in a starting role, and if that is a constant opportunity moving forward.


Rodriguez Becoming Cult Hero With Lions Fans

For weeks, Rodriguez has been getting hyped for his energy and ability throughout the offseason, but until now, it’s possible many Lions fans didn’t get a chance to see it on full display.

Now that everyone has seen what he can do as well as watched him dance and entertain on Hard Knocks, fans have gravitated toward the man affectionately known as “Rodrigo” in a big way. That hasn’t changed who he is or what he is about, however, which he explained after the first preseason game on Friday, August 12.


Lions vs. Falcons postgame media availability | Preseason vs. FalconsHear from select Lions players following the first preseason game against the Falcons. 0:00 – 2:59 – TE Devin Funchess 3:00 – 7:03 – LB Derrick Barnes 7:04 – 8:49 – WR Tom Kennedy 8:50 – 9:53 – CB Jeff Okudah 9:54 – 12:01 – LB Malcolm Rodriguez Subscribe to the Lions YT Channel: bit.ly/2OABzdx…2022-08-13T12:00:04Z

“I don’t really check on social media. I just stay around my family so it’s a lot of love. I mean my family always says they see the hate and the love and all that (online) but I just stay to the positive side so I just think on the positive side,” Rodriguez said. I heard people say ‘do the salsa’ in the stands so I got a good laugh out of that. You know, (I) know love Detroit, love being here and I’m happy to be here.”

The fans are very happy to have Rodriguez, who might have a new career trajectory after this practice promotion.


Rodriguez’s College Stats & Highlights

It’s easy to see what folks within the building are so excited about with regard to Rodriguez given what he did at Oklahoma State in college.

Rodriguez is a player who seems to work his way into big plays because he is near the ball. The college stats are wonderful for Rodriguez, given 408 tackles, 32 tackles for-loss, 7.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 11 passes defended and a whopping 13 forced fumbles. Those numbers help amplify some of his best traits.

Here’s a look at the clips:


Biggest Sleeper Linebacker In The Draft! II Malcolm Rodriguez HighlightsOklahoma State LB Malcolm Rodriguez 2021 Highlights Song: Tip Off – Money Man Bicho Prodz (Mine) Social Media Instagram: instagram.com/bicho.marti… Twitter: twitter.com/BichoMartnez1 Malcolm's Instagram: @malcolm_rod_20 Thanks For Watching!2022-03-22T03:01:00Z

So far, Rodriguez looks like the same tough, consistent player he was all along in college while transitioning to the NFL.

Already, he’s impressing many folks and maneuvering his way up the depth chart. Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last Rodriguez is spotted on the field. He seems to have the ability and charisma to make a fast impact.

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