Jalen Reeves-Maybin knows first-hand what it takes to be a professional athlete.
The cousin of former Detroit Tigers centerfielder, Cameron Maybin, Reeves-Maybin remembers his cousin working out for scouts, and was even tasked with shagging fly balls during those workouts as a kid.
Reeves-Maybin was a pretty good baseball player in his own right growing up, playing third base and the outfield, but football was his first passion.
Like his cousin, Reeves-Maybin can now call himself a professional athlete.
View photos of the Detroit Lions' fourth-round pick, Tennessee LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (124th overall).
The Detroit Lions selected him with their first pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, making it two linebackers selected (joining first-round selection Jarrad Davis) in the first four rounds for Lions GM Bob Quinn.
"Me and Cameron, we have a really good relationship," Reeves-Maybin said in a conference call. "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."
Reeves-Maybin stepped up to lead the Volunteers in tackles at WILL linebacker as both a sophomore (101 tackles, 11 for loss, two sacks) and junior (105 tackles, 14 for loss, six sacks, four pass breakups).
His senior season was a bit of a struggle, as he missed the majority of the year with a shoulder injury, finishing with 20 tackles, two for loss.
"It's doing really good," he said of the shoulder injury. "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."
He didn't participate in the Combine in February because of his shoulder, but ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds at his pro day.
He moves well at 6-foot, 230 pounds, and like Davis, is touted for his ability to run and cover. His athletic traits look to make him a three-down player, which the Lions have been short on the last couple seasons.
"Playing quarterback in high school allowed me to see a lot of things," Reeves-Maybin said. "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."
Reeves-Maybin started 30 games while at Tennessee, making 240 total tackles, including 27 tackles for loss, and eight sacks.