Malcolm Rodriguez Wowing Lions With Early Camp Work

Malcolm Rodriguez

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

The Detroit Lions have been hard at work trying to develop players for their roster this year, and they may be bringing along a good one on defense.

Linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez didn’t arrive to the team with much hype given he was an underrated sixth-round pick in 2022. Ever since he has hit the field, though, the rookie has been doing nothing but impressing folks.

After practice on Monday, August 1, fans demanded the team show some defensive highlights. Interestingly enough, the Lions posted video of Rodriguez covering some ground on the field. It was notable to watch some of the energy and explosion the newest Lions defender brought:

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.

With Rodriguez now in pads, it’s more than possible this is just the beginning for him. The preseason will be another important proving ground, but thus far, the important test has been passed in practice.

Dan Campbell Liked Rodriguez’s First Day of Pads

Perhaps the most notable person to be impressed by Rodriguez? None other than Dan Campbell, the Detroit head coach.

After singling out Rodriguez as a player he was excited to see before the first padded practice, it became clear that the linebacker didn’t do anything to dampen the excitement after heading on the field and getting his work in.

“He showed up yesterday. We’d been pretty pleased with him and all of a sudden we go first day with pads and who shows up? Which, he’s one of those guys. It’s inevitable. Rodriguez, his key and diagnose for a young guy right now is pretty good,” Campbell told the media.

Rodriguez continues to make plays and show his advancement, and his ability to be smart and stay in the right place at the right time as clips show is very important. It’s quite possibly the most important factor for a young linebacker, and Campbell already sees this trait as shining through the most.

This early trust from the staff could lead to an eventual bigger role for the rookie as he progresses further.

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.

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:

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

That has folks downright excited for what he could do during the 2022 season as he continues to grow into a professional player.

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