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Aidan Hutchinson named to PFWA’s All-Rookie team, but not Defensive Rookie of the Year

Aidan Hutchinson was named to PFWA’s All-Rookie team, but Sauce Gardner edged him in DROY honors.

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions offseason continues to be filled with some recognition of impressive performances from the 2022 squad.

The latest honors come courtesy of the Pro Football Writers of America—a group of credentialed writers for all 32 teams (Full disclosure: I am a PFWA member). Earlier in the week, the PFWA announcer their All-NFL, All-NFC and All-AFC teams. While the Lions were mostly shut out of those awards, punt returner Kalif Raymond was named to the All-NFC team, matching his achievement as a member of the Associated Press’ second-team All-Pro honors. You can see the full PFWA All-NFL teams here.

On Tuesday, the Lions received more honors when the PFWA announced their All-Rookie team. Detroit had two players land on that list: defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez.

Hutchinson finished his rookie season with a monster statline: 52 tackles, 9.5 sacks, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Rodriguez’s statline was a little more modest: 87 tackles (eight for a loss), two passes defended, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. However, given that Rodriguez was a sixth-round pick, his quick ascent to starter was remarkable in Detroit.

It’s worth noting that the PFWA also announced its selection for Rookie of the Year, and those honors went to Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner—who also obviously won PFWA’s Defensive Rookie of the Year. There has been a hot debate between Lions fans whether Gardner or Hutchinson deserves the official NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. This could be a hint as to where the NFL will go with its selection, but we won’t know for sure until the NFL Honors ceremony. That will take place on Thursday, February 9.

PFWA’s All-Rookie teams are available to see here.

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