Ennis Rakestraw's confidence could lead to big early success with Lions

Ennis Rakestraw wasn't a first-round pick, but his confident mindset could lead him to see the field and have quick success.

Since joining the Detroit Lions, Ennis Rakestraw hasn't really looked or sounded like a rookie.

Coming into the league can be daunting for some players, but for Rakestraw it hasn't been an uncomfortable adjustment so far. While he has been learning his way on the field with terminology, it's clear that Rakestraw knows exactly where he has to improve.

"I say the biggest challenge is nickel for me. Nickel in college when I got in was strictly pass downs, so it was third and long, or third (down) was pretty much getting a pass. Now, we got a base defense here, so you got to learn some of the gap schemes and some of the places you may fit."

Ennis Rakestraw's mindset could help him see early success

Playing a daunting position like cornerback is as much about confidence as it is about savvy. If a player doesn't believe he belongs, it can make for a rough start and be reason a career never gets off the ground.

Rakestraw doesn't have that shortcoming right now, which is significant as he gets set to try and carve out a role in a suddenly deep secondary. During OTAs, he said all the right things about not being overwhelmed by his current place in the defense amongst veterans.

"You feel like (a) rookie, but at the end of the day, if you feel like a rookie and you let the moment get too big for you, then what are you? So, you got to put yourself on the same pedestal as them. Those guys pretty much get paid to (compete) and we get paid to (compete) as well, so it's a privilege, and competition is what we like to do."

Already supremely motivated, Rakestraw has set some goals for the rest of the summer.

"(Study the) playbook, (and) keep my weight. Keep (my weight) at 191. I feel good. I like it. (Also), you know, have fun with my family as much as I can, because now, trying to win (a) Super Bowl (is the biggest goal)."

After being with the Lions for just a few months, Rakestraw sounds programmed to take advantage of the opportunity ahead of him. Don't be surprised if his confidence leads him to the field earlier than many might have assumed.