After all the speculation, the Detroit Lions ended up drafting who many wanted all along–Aidan Hutchinson.
Though Detroit Lions left the field victorious in the final week of the 2021 season, it cost them the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 Draft. And with that, the opportunity to draft a local favorite in Aidan Hutchinson was gone. Or so it seemed. With fans’ hopes dashed, panic followed to try to determine how Brad Holmes & Co. would pick up the pieces.
- “Will Kayvon Thibodeaux fit with Dan Campbell’s locker room?”
- “Could the Lions possibly pick a quarterback with the second pick?”
- “All hope is lost, we need to find a way to trade down.”
But when Jacksonville selected Georgia’s Travon Walker with the first overall pick, it seemed finally, something was going to go in the Lions’ favor.
Destiny delivered: Aidan Hutchinson is a Detroit Lion
In Hutchinson, the Lions add an edge defender who is a Day 1 starter who will instantly improve one of the league’s worst pass rushes last season and be a mainstay in the front seven for years to come.
As tantalizing as his on-field potential is, it’s his presence in the locker room that make his addition to a young team exciting. Here’s what Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh had to say about Hutchinson back in January.
…[H]e’s a tremendous talent. Intangibles are off the chart. Everything in terms of leadership, in terms of bringing other guys along, to his work ethic. The intelligence (is there) and then go into his intangibles. You’re talking about a 6-foot-6, 268 pounds, runs extremely well, freakishly in his balance and his athleticism. There is nothing not to love about Aidan Hutchinson.
Hutchinson is a quintessential Dan Campbell player–a leader in the locker room, a high motor player, and someone who undoubtedly loves the game of football. There was good reason for so many Lions fans to be disappointed at the prospect of missing out on Hutchinson. But it turns out those fears were for naught. Aidan Hutchinson is staying home.
Lions’ Aidan Hutchinson Pick Grade: A