Lions Depth Rookie Projected for ‘Starter Snaps’ This Coming Season

Malcolm Rodriguez

Getty Malcolm Rodriguez makes a tackle against Notre Dame in 2022.

The Detroit Lions have had a good offseason in terms of finding players who check off needs, but when it comes to figuring out how special those players will be, there could be some good answers already surfacing.

After the draft, folks have begun to think about where the Lions are at in terms of their picks, and a constant theme seems to be how one player from the later rounds could be set to star and stand out for the team.

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Detroit grabbed linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez in the sixth-round of the draft, and that move is already generating rave reviews for the team given how Rodriguez could trend for the Lions. NFL.com analyst Chad Reuter had Rodriguez as a rookie from day three that could trend for starter snaps this season.

As Reuter explained, Rodriguez doesn’t have the biggest size at all, which causes him to be ignored on the field. Still, he claims the situation in Detroit at linebacker will give Rodriguez an early chance to break through.

“I won’t ignore the productive, athletic and instinctive Rodriguez’s chances at making his presence felt between the tackles as a rookie,” Reuter wrote in the piece.

Indeed, the Lions have a bit of a hole at linebacker with veteran names like Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone on the roster. Neither has proven themselves as a complete answer at the position, and while Detroit signed Chris Board, he has a long way to earn a job given his special teams background.

Rodriguez could sneak in and steal a job as a result. Already, some folks are beginning to project that for the player.


Rodriguez Already Showing off During Practice

A big reason the Lions drafted Rodriguez was his ability to be a playmaker on defense. In his career, he collected 2 interceptions and forced 13 fumbles. Already in camp, Rodriguez was showing off with some nice plays, and as the Lions account showed, he has a knack for getting the ball with some quality hands. Here’s a look at him making a play in camp on a ball:

Rodriguez is already talking the talk in addition to walking the walk on the field. To that end, it’s going to be fun to see how he develops and if he can make the kind of impact on defense that many folks seem to expect right off the bat.

At this point, if Rodriguez brings the hard working mindset, he looks to already have the game to match. It could be interesting to see how he develops and if he could get enough attention to grab starter snaps as predicted.


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:


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

Safe to say Lions fans will like Rodriguez when they get to know him in a big way. Already, he is gaining in hype for the regular season.

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