The Detroit Lions took local kid Aidan Hutchinson with the No. 2 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to help fortify their previously struggling defense under head coach Dan Campbell.
Hutchinson’s selection was in no way a surprise. He was an All-American performer for the Michigan Wolverines and was considered one of the better edge pass rush prospects in years leading up to the annual event.
With Huthinson making his NFL preseason debut Friday against the Atlanta Falcons, he more than flashed that very same brilliance that defined the young man’s tenure with the Wolverines. That included bringing down Falcons running back Qadree Ollison for a two-yard loss in his first set of reps on defense.
That type of explosion is not normal for somone who stands at 6-foot-6 and weighs 265 pounds. It’s just special raw skill. Again, this isn’t a surprise given Hutchinson’s standout performance with Michigan last season.
- Aidan Hutchinson stats (2021): 62 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
The Lions are hoping that there’s no real learning curve for Hutchinson as a rookie. Last season under defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, this unit yielded 27.5 points per game (31st in the NFL). It also allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw 31 touchdowns while recording a mere 30 sacks.
As a top-end NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate, Aidan Hutchinson is seemingly prepared to make an immediate impact starting Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles.