Over-Hyped By Fans?
The Detroit Lions may have secured the steal of the 2022 NFL draft, which would make two years in a row for the franchise. Some Detroit Lions fans believed Linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez was over-hyped coming out of the 2022 draft. He came in at just under six feet tall and 230 pounds. Rodriguez’s measurements were not that impressive for an NFL Linebacker. His game tapes at Oklahoma State proved the kid could play football. However, the notion was that Detroit Lions drafted him to play special teams. The sixth-round draft pick has been a pleasant surprise in Detroit. Rodriquez went into rookie training camp on a mission to prove himself to the Lions coaching staff.
Hard Knocks Star
Dubbed Rodrigo by Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn, he made a name for himself during training camp and was one of the stars of NFL Hard Knocks on HBO, which featured the Detroit Lions this year. One notable moment from the series was Lions Linebacker Coach praising Rodriquez while chastising his veterans players. The series profiled his family during the preseason week in Indianapolis, where the Lions and Colts held joint practices. His play on the field made continues to shine into the early portions of the Lions 2022 season.
Highest Graded Rookie Defender By PFF
Rodrigo is the highest-rated rookie LB in the NFL thus far by Pro Football Focus (PFF) at 76.7. The only two LBs that have played enough snaps to get rated by PFF went in the first round, Quay Walker in Green Bay(72.7) and Devin Lloyd of Jacksonville(69.0). It is hard to say that Rodrigo is the steal of the draft right now, but he is trending in the right direction. He has secured a starting spot on the defense, and the LB play in week two was much improved. Rodrigo is the highest-rated rookie defender by PFF through week two. The guy pops on tape and is in position more often than not, proving to be a young star for the Lions’ defense. If the rookie LB continues on his up trajectory, he will be the steal of the 2022 draft. His teammate WR Amon-Ra St Brown is viewed by many as the steal of the 2021 NFL draft.
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.