Aidan Hutchinson and Malcolm Rodriguez made the PFWA All-Rookie team this year, marking the first time since 1997 that two Lions rookies got that honor.
The Detroit Lions are generally overlooked, or just outright passed over, when it comes time for players to be honored for individual performances. But as the team is getting noticed for the right reasons and not pure ineptitude, things are changing. Player of the Week awards came multiple times this season.
As the 2022 NFL Draft approached, Aidan Hutchinson was the hometown hero many Michigan Wolverines fans wanted to see stay in the state and trade his Maize and Blue for Honolulu Blue and Silver.
Hutchinson delivered on expectations as a rookie. He finished his season by becoming the second-ever defensive lineman to record 9.0 sacks, three interception and two fumble recoveries in a season. Hall of Famer Richard Dent is the other–he did it in 1990.
Malcolm Rodriguez became a household name by being one of the primary subjects of HBO’s Hard Knocks series. “Rodrigo,” as Aaron Glenn would call him, first introduced himself to Lions fans when he said, “preseason is awesome because you get to hit people.” That was all Lions fans needed to hear to fall in love with him. He finished with 87 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and two pass breakups during his rookie campaign. Not bad for a sixth-round pick.
Aidan Hutchinson and Malcolm Rodriguez enter select company in Detroit Lions history
On Tuesday, Hutchinson and Rodriguez were both named to the All-Rookie Team by the PFWA (Pro Football Writers of America).
Only two times prior have the Lions seen two of their rookies make the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team. 1997 with Matt Russell and Bryant Westbrook, then all the way back in 1988 with Chris Spielman and Bennie Blades.