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Lions news: Aidan Hutchinson’s production matching NFL’s elites over last 6 games

Detroit Lions second-year defensive end Aidan Hutchinson has been playing as an elite edge defender over the past six games.

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Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson has picked up where he left off from his rookie season. The 2022 second overall pick finished last year as one of the most productive players in football, ranking third among edge defenders in PFF grade from Week 11 and beyond, and placing second in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.

As pointed out by Peter King of Pro Football Talk, when you combine that production of last year with Hutchinson’s strong start to 2023, he is right there among the most productive edge defenders in the league. We’re talking the elite players like Micah Parsons, T.J. Watt, and Myles Garrett.

King took the NextGen stat “game-influencing plays,” which combines sacks, interceptions, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries and batted passes. In the span between Week 17 last year through Week 4 this year, Hutchinson ranks second, only behind Parsons.

Here’s the breakdown, via King:

Sacks: Garrett 8, Watt 7.5, Hutchinson 6, Parsons 4.5.
Interceptions: Hutchinson 1, Parsons 0, Garrett 0, Watt 0.
Forced fumbles: Watt 2, Hutchinson 1, Parsons 1, Garrett 1.
Recovered fumbles: Parsons 2, Watt 2, Hutchinson 1, Garrett 0
Batted passes: Hutchinson 4, Watt 2, Parsons 1, Garrett 0

That leaves the totals like this:

  • Parsons: 40
  • Hutchinson: 31
  • Garrett: 30
  • Watt: 27

It’s really hard to overstate how big of a game-disrupter Hutchinson has become in his early career, but let’s try. Just this year alone, Hutchinson has 3.5 sacks, three passes defended, two tackles for loss, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He shares the NFL lead for pressures, ranks 10th in PFF grade among edge defenders, and single-handedly sent Chiefs right tackle Jawaan Taylor into a downward, hellish spiral.

Anyone heard from Kayvon Thibodeaux or Travon Walker lately?

  • Still reveling in Detroit’s big win over the Packers? This is a great film breakdown of Amon-Ra St. Brown’s touchdown:

  • A pair of former Lions landed with the Steelers on Tuesday: offensive tackle Obinna Eze and receiver Denzel Mims signed to Pittsburgh’s practice squad.

  • Something to keep an eye on for next week’s game against the Buccaneers:

  • Future Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski believes Lions rookie tight end Sam LaPorta is already one of the best tight ends in football right now and will eventually be the highest-paid player at his position:

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