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Detroit Lions draft Q&A: Jalen Reeves-Maybin always gave 100 percent at Tennessee

Rocky Top Talk teaches us about new Lions linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Tennessee Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Goodbye, Ohio. Hello, Tennessee. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back in Tennessee: My home away from home. For those of you who don’t know, I spent a pretty good amount of my formative years living in Tennessee. So I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I arrived.

I went up to the mountains to be alone with my thoughts. I grew a long beard and smoked my corn cob pipe, as I was attempting to join this band:

Reisman called me and told me to focus up and get to work. That’s when I came back down from the mountain headed over to Knoxville to meet a man that strongly believes in two things: Tennessee football, and that he dislikes Teez Tabor. Meet Conner Knapp of Rocky Top Talk. He’s going to learn us something about Jalen Reeves-Maybin. Here’s what he had to say.

POD: What are your thoughts on Jalens time as a Vol?

RTT: “Jalen was one of the players in Butch Jones’s first class that helped turn Tennessee around. He came to Tennessee knowing it was going to be rough, but he stayed in his home state and was nothing but a joy to watch. He always brought energy and passion to the defense and always left 100% of what he had on the field. I don’t think you can find a Tennessee fan with anything but praise for Jalen.”

POD: What are his strengths?

RTT: “Jalen has a great first step after the snap. And if it’s a run, he can explode to the ball and make the tackle. Getting downhill and wrapping up the ball carrier is one of the best parts of his game. He’s also patient enough to wait for the muck to clear and find the ball.”

POD: What are his weaknesses?

RTT: “Jalen isn’t the biggest linebacker you’re going to find. That being the case, he can miss a tackle from time to time. Also, his coverage skills aren’t elite, but they’re definitely serviceable. And obviously nobody really knows what he’s going to look like coming off the shoulder injury that caused him to miss the majority of his senior year.”

POD: Can Jalen be a starter in the NFL? Or will his injury come back to haunt him?

RTT: “I definitely think Jalen can earn significant playing time in the NFL. The injury is obviously not ideal, but he was a stalwart on Tennessee defenses for 3+ years. It will be interesting to see how his NFL career plays out.”

My thoughts

Brutal honesty here, I’m not sure what to think of Reeves-Maybin at this time. I like that he is another piece to a linebacker puzzle that was sorely lacking pieces, but I worry about his size and I worry about his injury.

A bicep subluxation is no joke. Look, I’m no doctor. I have played one on TV, but I’m no doctor. From what I can see, this is a injury in which the muscle is torn completely off the bone. It can be repaired, but cannot be prevented from happening again. Jalen doesn’t exactly play a spot that would help in prevention.

The bad thing about an injury like this, or most injuries for that matter, is that your risk of re-injury is higher than your normal risk. But again, I’m not a doctor. Jalen may have a long and fruitful career and we’ll all forget about this. In that case, he’s a steal in the fourth round.