For a good portion of the predraft process, it seemed Aidan Hutchinson was the surefire number one overall pick. The Michigan product has an incredible career in college and this is expected to continue at the next level. During his four seasons at Michigan, Hutchinson totaled 156 tackles and 17.5 sacks. He had a noticeable uptick in production in his senior year by recording 14 sacks which broke his father's record for most single-season sacks in Michigan history.
This was a no-brainer pick for the Detroit Lions as they also were in need of help at the pass-rushing positions. Expect Hutchinson to play a major role right away. The Lions had a string of unfortunate losses which resulted in a 3-13-1 record on the season. The franchise will begin its turnaround this season with Aidan Hutchinson expected to grow into a cornerstone piece.
Aidan Hutchinson rookie year predictions with the Lions
Hutchinson records 8+ sacks
It is not common for rookies to leap onto the stat sheet in their first season. However, the combination of Hutchinson's ability and the opportunity he will be provided makes this a unique situation. The Detroit Lions had the third-fewest sacks in the NFL last season with just 30 as a team. They will need to create more pressure this year and Hutchinson will play a major role in this.
At 6'7 and 260 pounds, the Heisman Trophy runner-up possesses an impressive combination of strength and quickness. He needs to add a few more moves to his repertoire as the sheer strength will not be effective against NFL tackles. Regardless, expect the Lions to set him free and for Hutchinson to get in the backfield often.
Hutchinson will record 6+ tackles for loss
While defensive linemen are oftentimes judged based on the number of sacks they produce, this is far from the only way they are able to impact the game. Stuffing a running back behind the line of scrimmage after sniffing out the play call can alter the entire momentum of a game. Aidan Hutchinson is also very effective at getting in the backfield and securing a tackle for a loss.
During his time at Michigan, Hutchinson secured 27.5 tackles for loss. This meant 17.6% of his tackles produced occurred behind the line of scrimmage. His hand-in-the-dirt style of play is just as effective at pursuing runners as he is rushing the passer. If Hutchinson can produce in this manner it would go a long way to helping the Lions' defense this season.
Aidan Hutchinson recieves Rookie of the Year buzz
Given the combination of talent and opportunity, Aidan Hutchinson has a real chance at winning Rookie of the Year. The edge rusher is a hard-nosed pass rusher who is likely to be a day one starter for Detroit. With guys like Sauce Gardner and Derek Stingley Jr. also expected to get expanded roles out of the gate, the award will likely favor the more eye-popping players. However, Hutchinson has as good of a chance as anyone and some early production would help him run away with the award.
It is an awesome story for the Michigan kid to be able to stay in the state. Aidan Hutchinson went to high school less than 30 miles from Ford Field and will soon make his NFL debut as a member of the Lions. He possesses a higher floor than most prospects in the draft and the Lions should be satisfied walking away with the Big Ten DPOY with the second overall pick. There are still some concerns with his lack of arm length and NFL-ready pass rush moves. He may not have the highlight-reel plays or off-the-charts numbers, but Aidan Hutchinson will surely make a positive impact right away.