Allen Park — Eight days after earning Rookie of the Week honors, Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson has been named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Month.
In four games, Hutchinson tallied 13 tackles, 11 quarterback pressures, two interceptions, a sack and a fumble recovery as the Lions went 3-1 in November.
For the season, the No. 2 overall draft pick has emerged as a strong contender for the league’s Rookie of the Year honors. In addition to the two interceptions from last month, Hutchinson is up to 31 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 33 quarterback pressures, which leads all rookies.
Individual honors are welcomed, but the coaching staff is understandably more interested in team success. And position coach Todd Wash feels Hutchinson prioritizes his goals the same way.
“Probably the best thing about Hutch, like we said, he’s a good football player — but he’s a really good human being. I think he’s more worried about us winning games and doing what he can to help us win games,” Wash said Wednesday. “I think if he ends up winning the Rookie of the Year, it’s just some icing on the cake for him. But that’s the last thing in his mind.”
As for areas of continued improvement, Wash said he’s looking for Hutchinson to be more consistent when rushing the passer, particularly when it comes to translating more of those QB pressures into sacks.
“We want to see consistent pressure,” Wash said. “It’s not just for him. That’s for the rest of our guys. We’ve got some guys that can rush the passer. We’ve just got to finish.”
Hutchinson becomes just the third Lions player to earn Defensive Rookie of the Month honors and the first in more than a decade. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (Oct. 2010) and safety Louis Delmas (Sept. 2009) were the team’s previous winners.
He is the third Detroit rookie to earn Defensive Rookie of the Month honors, joining safety Louis Delmas (September, 2009) and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (October, 2010).
Hutchinson is the third Michigan Wolverine to win a Defensive Rookie of the Month award, joining David Harris (November, 2007) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Charles Woodson (December, 1998).