For the majority of the offseason, Detroit Lions fans debated which edge defender the team should take with the second overall pick. Early on, the debate centered around Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux and Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, with Georgia’s Travon Walker working his way into the conversation late. An argument could be easily made for any of them. Thibodeaux was the most polished pass rusher of the group. Walker had unreal athletic traits whose potential could be highest of them all. Hutchinson is a well-balanced player with an unteachable motor.
We’ll never be certain which of these players the Lions’ preferred most—although it obviously wasn’t Thibodeaux, and Dan Campbell’s reaction in the war room seems to suggest he favored Hutchinson—but many have suggested the Lions got the best of the trio.
EA Sports, the manufacturer of the popular Madden NFL video game series, seems to agree with that consensus, as Hutchinson received the highest rating in Madden 23, the latest edition of the game.
Hutchinson has an overall 77 rating—interestingly lower than fellow Lions first-round pick Jameson Williams (78)—but higher than the other edge defenders picked in this year’s class. Thibodeaux has a 75 rating, while first overall pick Travon Walker is a 76. Elsewhere, Jermaine Johnson is a 74.
It’s a similar situation for the Lions’ other first round pick. Williams is the highest rated rookie receiver despite being the fourth at his position to be drafted this year. Williams got a 78 rating while Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave got 76s and Drake London graded out as a 75. The other two rookie receiver taken in the top 30—Jahan Dotson and Treylon Burks— received a 75 and 73, respectively.
Of course none of this truly matter. This doesn’t confirm that the Lions got both the best edge defender and wide receiver in the class. However, it does show that some people outside of Detroit do believe the Lions accomplished both of those things. As always, time will tell.
Madden NFL 23 ratings are slowly being revealed over the next few days. You can view them all here.