Lions DE Aidan Hutchinson is WINNING all over the field: Film Breakdown


He gets a sack here against Atlanta. He’s lined up on Jake Matthews, who’s a really good left tackle. The way that he exaggerates swinging his arms, that’s exactly what he does when he’s using his normal speed chop. So that really sells that he’s rushing to the outside. Causes the tackle to overextend, and then he can’t recover when he spins inside. So, winning with finesse and winning with his hands, he was doing that in spurts last year, but it’s just so much more consistent and reliable this season.

And the biggest improvement by far is how much more effective his power rush is. Pass rushing is all about creating as many threats for the blockers as possible. You want to create as many things that they have to worry about you doing. So if you can only win with speed they’re just gonna over set and pretty much shut that prepared to drop their anchor. But if you can win in a bunch of different ways, they aren’t able to sell out to stop one thing. 

Especially against a pass rusher like Aidan Hutchinson, who has that reaction time to make them pay when they overextend in one direction. Right here you can see he just launches Kaleb McGary into the pocket. He wasn’t doing stuff like this last year, at least consistently. Even on plays where he doesn’t get a dominant win or a sack, he’s still pushing the pockets, speeding up the quarterback’s internal clock.

On this play he’s threatening the tackle like he’s gonna swipe or club or do something with his hands, And then he’s able to instantly accelerate into a power rush, He moves the tackle back into Bryce Young’s lap and he has to throw off his back foot. And then right here, he’s lined up on Matthew Bergeron, who does a good job anchoring against that initial bullrush. But once he feels his power start to die down and he can tell the guards kind of out of control; he transitions into a rip move, gets the sack, force fumble and his own recovery.

What I really like about Aidan Hutchinson is he’s always going full speed. He’s one of the most high effort players in the NFL but he’s doing all of that under control. Right here, he’s being blocked by a tight end. It would be easy for him once he turns the corner to just continue to get upfield and try to get a sack. But he reads the quarterback’s eyes, he’s able to feel out this screen developing behind him, and he slides in front of the passing window for an interception.

So Aidan Hutchinson has taken exactly the step you wanted to see from him year two. He’s really developed into a dominant pass rusher that can win in so many different ways. And like I said, really the only athletic limitation with him is arm length. He isn’t like a Haason Reddick level speed rusher or anything.

But he’s got a leap bend, really good explosiveness, And he’s just such a talented pass rusher with his hands. And that’s what makes the Aiden Hutchinson and Trayvon Walker conversation so funny. Travon Walker is a better athlete, but it’s not like they’re taking Rudy second overall.

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