Aidan Hutchinson is staying in the state of Michigan.
The Michigan edge defender exploded onto the scene after an impressive 2021 season in Ann Arbor. After tallying just 4.5 sacks in his previous 16 starts, Hutchinson was asked to be in more of a stand-up pass rusher role last season, and he absolutely thrived. His 16.5 sacks broke a Michigan football record, and his 93.3 PFF pass rushing grade was the best among all power-five edge defenders. He is No. 1 prospect in this draft according to PFF and The Athletic’s Dane Brugler.
He is also a much-needed upgrade for the Lions’ lackluster pass rush. Detroit ranked 30th in sacks last season and 29th in pressure percentage. He’ll challenge for a starting job alongside the likes of Charles Harris and Romeo Okwara, the latter of which is still recovering from a torn Achilles in Week 4.
Hutchinson wins with an incredible motor and relentless attitude. He’s also an above-average run defender. All of those traits certainly must have endeared him to Lions head coach Dan Campbell.
If there’s a weakness to Hutchinson’s game, it’s his short arm-length, which can get him in trouble if offensive tackles get their hands on him. However, his tenacious play style sometimes gets him out of a jam.
Here’s what our own Erik Schlitt had to say about Hutchinson in his plea for the Lions to draft him:
While Hutchinson doesn’t have the elite bend of edge rushers taken at the top of previous drafts, he is a technician, and his hands are married to his feet, moving in unison. He attacks the edge with violence and prefers to initiate contact first, which allows him to control the interaction. His motor never stops and he is constantly hand fighting, moving his feet, and working his angles when battling offensive linemen. When he is on his game, he can overwhelm even the best offensive tackles.
Welcome to Detroit, Aidan!
Lions remaining picks
- Round 1, Pick 32 (32 overall) — From Rams
- Round 2, Pick 2 (34 overall)
- Round 3, Pick 2 (66th overall)
- Round 3, Pick 33 (97th overall)
- Round 5, Pick 34 (177th overall)
- Round 6, Pick 2 (181st overall)
- Round 6, Pick 39 (217th overall)
Top remaining needs for Lions:
- Wide receiver
- Tight end
- Defensive tackle