4 Detroit Lions players to watch in Week 2 vs. the Commanders
3. LB Malcolm Rodriguez
Rodriguez had a pretty good showing in his NFL debut, coming in with the highest overall Pro Football Focus grade among all Lions’ defensive players (73.4). Mostly good but with areas to hone, as would be expected in an NFL debut, the sixth-round rookie was as advertised based on his resume at Oklahoma State.
While Rodriguez didn’t allow much yardage in pass coverage against Philadelphia, he did allow a catch on all four targets in his coverage. Washington will be in better postion to exploit any flaws he has in coverage, with better pass-catching running backs than the Eagles have (Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic).
Upon further review on Monday, Campbell said Rodriguez had no “MAs” (missed assignments) against the Eagles. Sunday will be the next test.
2. DE Aidan Hutchinson
Hutchinson had one tackle without a sack against the Eagles, which spurred some instant negative reaction. Facing a quarterback who is not a high-level runner like Jalen Hurts in Week 2 can only help, though Carson Wentz can move around some too.
Hutchinson will surely make a more notable impact in his second game, as a pass rusher and a run defender, against a Washington offensive line that’s good but not elite like Philadelphia’s. Eyes will be on the second overall pick in April’s draft to see how he responds after a lackluster debut, especially with the impact No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker made against Washington in Week 1.