Lions rookie linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez eyeing big plays as he asserts himself
Having asserted himself as a mainstay in the Detroit Lions’ defense, rookie linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez now wants to make more impact plays.
The Detroit Lions found a potential steal in the sixth round of April’s draft, and thus far linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez has delivered. He has started all six games (headed for a seventh on Sunday), with 43 total tackles (third on the team), four tackles for loss (tied for best on the team) and consistently good weekly grades from Pro Football Focus.
Via Will Burchfield of 97.1 The Ticket, here’s what Jarrad Davis, who was once upon time anointed as the young star linebacker for the Lions, said about Rodriguez.
"He plays linebacker the way I feel like you’re supposed to play it,” said Davis. “He plays with an attitude, he plays with a tenacity that he doesn’t want to be denied when it comes to getting to the ball. He’s hungry to be out there, he’s hungry to stay out there and he’s somebody that’s going to put his body on the line."
Malcolm Rodriguez wants to make more impact plays, get more wins
Rodriguez stated some goals he has as the rest of his rookie season plays out.
"I still got stuff to work on,” he said. “So far, it’s not been so bad. Obviously for me, getting wins is all I care about.”Definitely gotta get some sacks,” he said. “Get some sacks and some picks and just being that playmaker out there, just make those big plays when we need them.”"
If Rodriguez can make more impact plays going forward, that will certainly help the Lions put more marks in the win column. One of the linebackers drafted before him, the Dolphins’ Channing Tindall, will be on the opposite sideline on Sunday and the Lions’ rookie seems to be aware of that.
"Just one of those things I keep in the back of my head and keep working,” he said. “It was only a matter of time (before I got drafted), so I wasn’t worried or anything. I knew I was going to get to a good spot.”"
Rodriguez looked very possible to have a prominent role right away for the Lions, if only based on opportunity coming into a thin linebacking corps. He has stepped into the opportunity very nicely, with the drive to keep improving.