The Detroit Lions haven’t had much to celebrate in recent years. But the team has now locked up one of its first-round picks from April.
It’s a team that hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2016. And the club has lost at least 10 games each of the past four seasons. All told, the Detroit Lions own a disturbing 17-46-2 win-loss record dating back to ’18. And general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell are busy these days trying to put back the pieces.
With the second overall selection in this year’s draft, the organization grabbed some help for a defense that has been on the ropes in recent seasons. The Lions opted for emerging edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson. The 6’6”, 265-pound performer came up with a banner senior season that would place him second in the Heisman Trophy voting.
The University of Michigan product rebounded from a 2020 campaign which saw him play in only two games. This past season, he played in 14 contests. He finished with 62 tackles, 14 sacks, a pair of forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. And via FanSided’s Matt Lombardo, he parlayed that performance into quite the payday.
Defense has been a sore spot for the franchise, especially these past two years. In 2020, the Lions allowed 519 points – the second-most in one season in NFL annals. There was some improvement in ’21 as Campbell’s club gave up 467 points in 17 games. But that was still the second-most in the league this past year.
Detroit’s defensive unit allowed 50 offensive TDs during its 3-13-1 showing this past season. All told, 31 of those scores came through the air.
Now Hutchinson looks to bolster a pass rush that came up with only 30 quarterback traps in 2021. Only the Atlanta Falcons (18) and Philadelphia Eagles (29) managed fewer sacks than defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn’s unit this past year.