Potential No. 1 NFL Draft Pick Aiden Hutchinson Says He'd 'Love' to Play for Texans

Erin WalshDecember 9, 2021

Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) rushes up field during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
AP Photo/Darron Cummings

While players such as J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins have departed the Houston Texans organization over the last year, one NFL draft prospect has said he would love to play for the franchise despite the uncertainty surrounding the club. 

Michigan star defensive end Aiden Hutchinson, who could possibly be the top pick in the 2022 draft, said he'd be happy to join the Texans if they picked him during an appearance on The Wheelhouse with Jake Asman, Cody Stoots, & Brad Kellner on ESPN 97.5 (h/t ProFootballTalk).

“When I got off the airplane, it felt right,” said Hutchinson, who was in Houston for the Lombardi Award announcement. “I can’t lie to you: Just the air, the atmosphere, the vibes, Houston is a good place to be. If they draft me, I’d love to play for the Texans.”

The Lombardi Award is awarded to the best lineman in college football. Hutchinson won the award over Texas A&M offensive lineman Kenyon Green, Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum and Iowa State linebacker Mike Rose.

The 21-year-old had an incredible 2021 season, recording 13.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, 15 tackles for loss and 55 tackles. He was also named a Heisman Trophy finalist for his efforts this year and will get the opportunity to increase his draft stock even further when Michigan meets Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinal Orange Bowl on Dec. 31. 

The Texans currently have the No. 3 selection in the 2022 draft. However, it's unclear what the franchise might be planning to do with that pick. Houston has several areas it needs to address over the offseason, including quarterback, the offensive line and the secondary. 

Regardless, though, Hutchinson appears to be the team's best option. This year's quarterback class isn't as great as it was in 2021, and Hutchinson has been viewed as one of the best pass rushers in college football over the past few seasons, so the Texans can't go wrong drafting him. 

However, if Hutchinson is off the board when the Texans are on the clock, Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux or Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal could also be great options. 

In addition to the Texans, Hutchinson, who grew up in Plymouth, Michigan, says he would not be opposed to playing for the Detroit Lions. Though, he did mention he grew up a New England Patriots fan.

“You know, growing up, it was hard being a Lions fan. Lions have been struggling for a while. I actually grew up a Patriots fan with Tom Brady and stuff like that. So, I never really loved the Lions too much. But, hey, if they pick me, they’re getting it all.”

The Lions currently have the No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft.