Aidan Hutchinson put together a promising campaign in his first season with the Detroit Lions. He recorded 9.5 sacks and nine tackles for a loss en route to finishing in second place in the voting for the 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
After such a prolific rookie season, Hutchinson entered the offseason with several goals in mind. For one, he aimed to simply build up his body, and he also aspired to work on his diet.
This has all so far paid off for Hutchinson, who feels “stronger than ever.”
“It's crazy the difference in how I feel over this year timespan,” Hutchinson said during a press conference at the Lions’ OTAs. “I feel stronger than ever. I feel more mobile than ever.
“I really think just having an offseason to take my time and focus on some of my body deficiencies has helped me a ton. I can't wait. … Me personally, I feel like I'm just on a completely different level. Instinctually. My explosiveness. Everywhere on the board, I feel like I've taken myself to the next level.”
Detroit did not enter the offseason in dire need of reinforcements within its front seven. Thus, Lions general manager Brad Holmes turned his attention to bolstering his team’s defensive back depth during the early stages of this year's free agency period. He reached agreements on free agent deals with C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Cameron Sutton, and Emmanuel Mosley.
Hutchinson was pleased to see Holmes complete these moves.
“It gets me fired up just seeing that,” Hutchinson said. “I think they believe in our pass rush, they believe we have guys who can go get the passer and they just went and got some guys in the back end to make that quarterback hold it a little bit longer.
“It gets me fired up because you know what Brad (Holmes) and Dan (Campbell) are doing is trying to make the push for right now. Getting the DBs, Cam (Sutton) and those guys, and drafting Jack (Campbell), a guy who is going to be ready Day 1 … you can tell the boys are making a push right now.”
The Lions’ OTAs schedule will continue on May 31.