Key Rookie Predicted ‘Surprise Gem’ for Lions During 2022 Season

Malcolm Rodriguez

Getty Malcom Rodriguez and Mike Gundy in 2022 after the Fiesta Bowl.

Given the amount of high picks the Detroit Lions had in 2022, the team would most likely assume the players drafted in those spots to play a starring role immediately.

If the Lions managed to get anything else from players drafted later, that would have to be seen as a huge win for the franchise. Many think they could reap some of those immediate rewards from a sixth-round pick of all players.

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According to Bleacher Report, linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez is going to be that guy for the team in 2022. Recently, the site along with writer Ian Wharton took a look at projecting a surprise rookie gem for each roster. Rodriguez was that guy in Detroit given some of his characteristics.

As Wharton wrote, “is a perfect fit for this coaching staff that values toughness, instincts and effort. He joins a position group that racked up tackles but offered little other impact.

For that reason, Wharton thinks Rodriguez could offer the Lions something immediate on defense, and play a quick role for the team. He even offered a possible solution as to how he could be used.

“Aaron Glenn should unleash Rodriguez much like how Cleveland used Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah as a Swiss Army knife who could flow to the ball and thrive in space,” Wharton wrote.

However he is used, it would be a huge bonus for Detroit to get that kind of production from Rodriguez almost immediately early in his career. Right now, some see that trending toward being the case.

Rodriguez Predicted to ‘Make Presence Felt’ With Lions

Detroit grabbed Rodriguez in the sixth-round of the draft, and that move has generated rave reviews for the team given how Rodriguez could trend for the Lions. Just like Wharton, 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’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:… Twitter: 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. According to some experts, that could be sooner rather than later.

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