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Notes: Aidan Hutchinson predicted to win Defensive Rookie of the Year by The Athletic panel

The Detroit Lions’ second overall pick is already expected to be the best defensive rookie in the NFL this year.

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NFL: Atlanta Falcons At Detroit Lions Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY NETWORK

With the opening game of the 2022 NFL season now less than 48 hours away, the predictions are rolling in from various outlets. The Detroit Lions aren’t likely to be on the positive end of a lot of those predictions, but for individual performances, there are a few players who may earn some recognition before the season starts.

For Aidan Hutchinson, the second overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, expectations are sky high. Even Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell is having a hard time holding in his excitement. During a radio appearance on 97.1 The Ticket’s Stoney and Jansen with Heather show, Campbell was asked if he was more excited for Hutchinson’s debut or the breakout potential of sixth-round linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, Campbell didn’t hesitate.

“Unleash Hutch,” Campbell said. “That would be No. 1. I love Rodrigo and I like this kid and he’s exactly what we’re all about, but I’m ready to unleash Hutch.”

Nationally, people are ready, too. Over at The Athletic, the entire NFL staff made their predictions for some postseason honors ($), and when it came to Defensive Rookie of the Year, there was no contest. Hutchinson received 20 votes, while the next closest defender—Giants defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux—only got seven votes.

If you’re wondering about Offensive Rookie of the Year, Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams did actually receive two votes for the award, despite the fact that he’ll miss at least the first four games after being placed on the reserve/Non-Football Injury list a couple weeks ago.

  • As you may remember, Lions center Frank Ragnow professed his love for Applebee’s during a “Hard Knocks” clip. Well, Applebee’s apparently liked the free publicity.

  • Ragnow talks more about his love for Applebee’s and the honor of being named captain with ESPN’s Eric Woodyard.

  • Here’s a look at the new marquee on the face of Ford Field:

  • The Lions retained Jarrad Davis on their practice squad, and threw in a little extra cash to make it worth Davis’ time: