Notes on Lions 4th Rd draft pick Jalen Reeves-Maybin

Jalen Reeves-Maybin / Credit: UT Athletics

Notes on Lions 4th Rd draft pick Jalen Reeves-Maybin

Jalen Reeves-Maybin / Credit: UT Athletics

PHILADELPHIA — The Detroit Lions selected former Tennessee linebacker and VFL Jalen Reeves-Maybin with the 124th overall pick during Saturday’s fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art at Eakins Oval.


Portsmouth Spartans 1930-33
Detroit Lions 1934-Pres.

  • 1940: Jim Rike – C, 4th Rd, 46th pick
  • 1944: Bob Cifers – B, 2nd Rd, 14th pick
  • 1945: Russ Morrow – C, 24th Rd, 247th pick
  • 1947: Bill Hillman – B, 27th Rd, 246th pick
  • 1949: Al Russas – E, 13th Rd, 122nd pick
  • 1951: Jimmy Hill – B, 15th, 178th pick
  • 1952: Hank Lauricella – B, 17th Rd, 202nd pick
  • 1955: Darris McCord – T, 3rd Rd, 36th pick
  • 1955: Pat Oleksiak – B, 18th Rd, 216th pick
  • 1956: Tom Tracy – B, 5th Rd, 50th pick
  • 1957: John Gordy – T, 2nd Rd, 24th pick
  • 1959: Carl Smith – B, 9th Rd, 101st pick
  • 1959: Lebron Shields – T, 22nd Rd, 256th pick
  • 1967: Paul Naumoff – LB, 3rd Rd, 60th pick
  • 1970: Herman Weaver – P, 9th Rd, 227th pick
  • 1983: Mike Cofer – DE, 3rd Rd, 67th pick
  • 1984: Glenn Streno – C, 12th Rd, 327th pick
  • 1990: Tracy Hayworth – LB, 7th Rd, 174th pick
  • 1994: Shane Bonham – DT, 3rd Rd, 93rd pick
  • 1998: Terry Fair – DB, 1st Rd, 20th pick
  • 2017: Jalen Reeves-Maybin – LB, 4th Rd, 124th pick

Reeves-Maybin is the 21st Vol to be drafted by the Detroit Lions. Entering today, last Vol to be drafted by the Lions was Terry Fair, who went No. 20 overall in 1998.

The Lions selected Reeves-Maybin with a pick that they acquired from the New England Patriots along with the 96th overall selection in exchange for Detroit’s 85th pick. The Patriots had previously acquired the 124th in a trade with the Tennessee Titans.

Reeves-Maybin is the first Tennessee linebacker selected in the NFL Draft since the Patriots selected Jerod Mayo with the 10th overall pick in 2008.

Reeves-Maybin played in only four games in 2016 due to a shoulder injury that ended his season on Oct. 18. He posted 20 tackles and two tackles for loss in those four games. Reeves-Maybin posted 100-tackle seasons in 2014 and 2015. He enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign in 2014 with 101 stops, 2.0 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one interception. In 2015, Reeves-Maybin tallied 105 tackles, 6.0 sacks, 14 TFLs, two forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered and four passes broken up. Over his four-year career, Reeves Maybin played in 41 games, recording 240 tackles (149 solo), 7,0 sacks, 27 TFLs, two forced fumbles, four fumbles recovered, one interception and four pass breakups.

Detroit Lions Linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin

(On his draft experience and who he expected to select him)
“You know, it’s a long process and you don’t really know who’s going to contact you. So just kind of sitting around with some family that’s close to me, waiting on that call and when the number popped up I kind of knew who it was.”

(On how much contact he had with the Lions during the pre-draft process)
“I had some contact with them through the process. It wasn’t like anything, a straight number of visits or nothing. I never came up there. I definitely thought they were interested in me and I was very fortunate.”

(On the status of his recent shoulder injury)
“It’s doing really good. It kind of bothered me this past year, but it’s behind me now and I’m just looking forward to the season and getting to play football.”

(On why he insisted on playing special teams in college)
“My freshman year I struggled a little bit kind of breaking it in on defense. I started making plays on special teams and I feel like that was something that our whole team identified with over my four years. It was kind of all fall in on special teams. It just feels like something that was a part of me. On certain units I feel like there was no one that could play the position better than me.”

(On if special teams experience gives him an advantage when trying to win a roster spot in the NFL)
“I’m hoping that it will pay off, but it’s going to be a new experience. So I’m going to have to learn new things, but I definitely have the mindset and the willingness to be on all specials stuff.”

(On which linebacker position his defensive skills match best)
“It doesn’t really matter to me. I’ve always prided myself on just being a well-rounded football player, no matter what it was. I don’t know how much you all know about me, but I was a high school quarterback, so I just always prided myself on being able to play everything on the football field. Wherever position they put me in, no matter what linebacker spot, I feel like I can compete.”

(On the impact his father had on his athletic development having been a former Louisville basketball player)
“It’s really funny. My dad’s whole side of the family is athletes. My cousin is actually Cameron Maybin, who the (Detroit) Tigers drafted coming out of high school. I guess they got rid of him.”

(On if he ever made it to Detroit for Tigers game)
“Me and Cameron, we have a really good relationship. He’s from North Carolina, I grew up in Tennessee, but we’re still pretty close. He actually sent me a text, so I’m definitely going to have to hit him up to tell me about Detroit.”

(On if he played baseball growing up)
“Yeah, I played baseball my whole life growing up. I was a pretty good baseball player, but I just stopped playing because my love for football was so strong. I definitely played baseball my whole life.”

(On what it was like with being with his family after he was drafted)
“Just relief, I just know that I can’t take anything for granted. Just seeing my dad, how he dealt with his life and things like that, I’m really a person who always stayed focus. I try not to get too down on myself and I’m obviously going to put my best foot forward. I think my mom and my dad both have prepared me for any type of struggles in life.”

(On the positions he played in baseball)
“I played third base and outfield mostly.”

(On how he feels about playing with another SEC linebacker in LB Jarrad Davis)
“I love it. I’m a fan of Jarrad Davis. We played them every year at Florida. I can definitely tell it’s going to be a lot of competition between me and him, probably. Not even on the field, just off the field stuff because of the Florida-Tennessee thing. I’m definitely excited to get around him more and develop that relationship.”

(On where he gains his football intelligence)
“Man, I don’t know. I’ve studied the game. I’ve always been a fan of football more so than a football player. I was studying, watching the game. Playing quarterback in high school allowed me to see a lot of things. Some of it I just can’t account for, just instincts and some of it is just my gift. I definitely think I pay attention to the game a lot closer than a lot of people around me and it allows me to stay ahead.”

(On which football player he was a fan of growing up)
“I was more so a college football fan, I would say so. My favorite football player growing up was actually LaDainian Tomlinson.”

(On what his relationship with his cousin and former Detroit Tiger Cameron Maybin has meant to him)
“It’s been a lot, just seeing him, his success. I mean, even since high school he was the kind to always coach us to stay out of trouble, always hung out with me. He wasn’t like the cool, older guy who was just too good for me. Whenever I came to town he always spent time with me. Probably the coolest thing, actually, was one time it was a workout for some MLB teams when I was younger and he was like hitting and stuff and I got to go out on the field, field balls and stuff. So that was cool when I was at a young age. I’ve definitely been watching him my whole life and just trying to get to his level of success.”

(On where Cameron Maybin’s tryout was)
“It was in North Carolina. It wasn’t really a tryout. I guess it was more so just a workout.”

(On if he was a Detroit Tigers fan because of Cameron Maybin)
“Yeah, I’m a fan of wherever he’s at.”

-UT Athletics


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