Aidan Hutchinson Drafted by Lions: Detroit's Updated Depth Chart After Round 1April 29, 2022
After finishing second in the Heisman Trophy voting and helping Michigan reach the College Football Playoff, the next stop in Aidan Hutchinson's football journey will take him to the Detroit Lions.
The Lions selected Hutchinson with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft on Thursday.
This marks the fourth consecutive year that Michigan has had at least one player drafted in the first round. It's the second straight year a Wolverines defensive lineman has gone in the first 32 picks (Kwity Paye went No. 21 to the Indianapolis Colts in 2021).
Hutchinson is coming to the NFL after a career year in college. He recorded 16.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks in 14 games during the 2021 season.
Here is what the Lions' depth chart looks like with the addition of Hutchinson on the defensive line:
LDE: Michael Brockers, Romeo Okwara, Austin Bryant
DT: Alim McNeill, John Penisini, Jashon Cornell
DT: Levi Onwuzurike, Bruce Hector, Eric Banks
RDE: Aidan Hutchinson, Charles Harris, Julian Okwara, Rashod Berry
LB: Alex Anzalone, Jarrad Davis, Josh Woods, Tavante Beckett
LB: Derrick Barnes, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Chris Board, Anthony Pittman
CB: Amani Oruwariye, Mike Hughes, Mark Gilbert
CB: Jerry Jacobs, Ifeatu Melifonwu, Bobby Price
Nickel CB: Jeff Okudah, A.J. Parker
FS: Will Harris, C.J. Moore, JuJu Hughes
SS: Tracy Walker, Brady Breeze, Jalen Elliott
Depth chart info provided by Ourlads and Over the Cap.
Following a high level of production in college, expectations are going to be huge for Hutchinson coming into the NFL.
B/R's NFL scouting department has Hutchinson ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the 2022 class and third among edge defenders, behind Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux and Purdue's George Karlaftis.
B/R scout Derrik Klassen compared Hutchinson's skill set to Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby.
"Hutchinson has great size for the position and clears the bar for most athletic traits. He possesses good explosiveness along with moments of overwhelming strength, particularly when he can get a head of steam as a pass-rusher. While his bend is lacking, his speed, technique and functional length all help make up for his non-elite flexibility. Hutchinson should still be able to win consistently as a power rusher with strong hands and a mean inside counter."
In this era of football, where passing is the dominant form of offense, an edge rusher who can consistently put pressure on the opposing quarterback is a necessity.
A prime example is the difference Trey Hendrickson made for the Cincinnati Bengals defense in 2021. He signed with the team as a free agent, then set career-highs with 27 quarterback hits and 14 sacks during the regular season.
Hutchinson on his own won't make Detroit a Super Bowl team like the Bengals were in 2021, but his talent makes him a potential foundation piece for a championship-caliber defense in the future.
Few mock draft pairings made more sense than Hutchinson going to the Lions. In addition to his connection with the state of Michigan, head coach Dan Campbell seems like the right person to get the most out of his talents.
Campbell brings an old-school attitude to the Lions. They aren't ready to compete for a playoff spot in the NFC, but there were plenty of games last season when they were more competitive against quality opponents than they should have been.
The Lions are still in the early stages of their rebuilding process. They did fare well with last year's class, led by Penei Sewell and Amon-Ra St. Brown as two building blocks.
Hutchinson should be the next member of that group. He's not quite at the level of recent high-end defensive-end draft picks like Nick Bosa and Myles Garrett, but he's got excellent traits to be an impact player immediately.