A four-year starter at Oklahoma State, Rodriguez had a great senior season, racking up 130 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles. I wouldn’t expect him to start right away, but he has that level of potential, and I bet he serves up more than a couple of highlight-worthy plays on special teams during his rookie campaign.
“You and I are both fans of Malcolm Rodriguez,” Dane Brugler told Lance Zierlein on The Athletic’s Football Show podcast. “Rodriguez is going to a situation in Detroit where there could be a path for him in training camp, to not only get on the field...”
“100-percent, he’s a future starter,” Zierlein excitedly interrupted. “(coach) Dan Campbell is going to love him, (defensive coordinator) Aaron Glenn is going to love him. He’s got the best instincts, maybe, in the (entire) draft. He takes the best pathways to the tackle. He avoids blocks, with unbelievable talent. If he was two inches taller, with arms two inches longer, he’s a Day 2 pick. Without question.”
Let’s take a look at some of Rodriguez’s highlights from his time in Stillwater by starting off with a video the Lions put together.
#Lions LB Malcolm Rodriguez only allowed 4.9 yards per reception in coverage for the regular 2021 season -- 2nd best for the LBs drafted this year (behind Dean).— Logan Lamorandier (@LLamorandier) May 6, 2022
His run stop percentage of 13.8% was also the 2nd highest (behind Chenal) #OnePride pic.twitter.com/hacHXmU2tM
Detroit Lions 5th Round Draft Pick, OK State LB Malcolm Rodriguez (#20), provides the game defining interception with Notre Dame driving in the 4th Quarter and OK State protecting a 34-28 lead. Your 2022 Fiesta Bowl MVP. pic.twitter.com/e4cXVQTxzN— Al Karsten (@bigalfredosauce) May 3, 2022
Notices the pre-snap movement from earlier in the game, but didn't get a chance to be a part of the play.— Kegan Reneau (@KeganReneau) May 11, 2022
Second time, zero false steps and a TFL. Malcolm Rodriguez rules. pic.twitter.com/RyYOLdCIEL
Detroit Lions 5th Round Draft Pick, OK State LB Malcolm Rodriguez (#20), defeating the pulling guard to take down the RB short of the LOS on 1st & Goal. pic.twitter.com/YEykdvwmeF— Al Karsten (@bigalfredosauce) May 3, 2022