With a round one and number two overall draft pick, you can only hope that the player is worth it. Aidan Hutchinson, a University of Michigan Alumni, has earned himself a notable reputation based on his statistics. The defensive lineman just entered the pro football world this season, but he’s definitely proving that the Detroit Lions made the right choice picking him to be a part of their team.
Despite being the second choice, Hutchinson hoped to be chosen by the Lions. Being a native of the area, he grew up watching the Lions and has seemed to succeed in following his dream of playing for them. In an interview with “The Den”, he said, “I just wanted to come into the season and learn something every single game and make strides every game. I’m happy with my development so far”.
The year prior to Hutchinson’s commitment, the Lions struggled to win any games. With a 3-13-1 record, the team was last in the Northern National Football Conference. The downfall wasn’t just in that division though, the team had the least amount of wins in the National Football League for the 2021-2022 season.
This season seemed to be the team’s improvement year with nine wins and eight losses, putting them in second behind the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North. Hutchinson was able to accumulate nine and a half sacks, two fumble recoveries, and three interceptions, which is quite a big accomplishment since the last person to rack that high of a number was Richard Dent back in 1990.
The first three sacks that were recorded for Hutchinson with the Lions was in the Washington Commanders game on September 18. A month later he had a tackle and a half against the Dallas Cowboys. Following that was the mid-November game against the Chicago Bears, where he only added one more to his stats.
His half-sacks were counted in the early December game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Lions’ second game against the Bears. Another full sack was made in their winning game against the Minnesota Vikings. In their final hurrah of the season, Hutchinson was able to add his final two of the season to his roster against the Green Bay Packers.
On January 17, the Lions’ social media pages were all about spreading the word to go vote for Hutchinson as Pepsi’s Rookie of the Year Finalist. The list of other nominees include Sauce Gardner, Chris Olave, Kenneth Walker III, Tariq Woolen, and Garrett Wilson.
Gardner is the cornerback of the New York Jets, and has 75 tackles, 20 pass defensed, and 2 interceptions. New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver, Olave, has 72 receptions, 1,042 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Running Back of the Seattle Seahawks, Kenneth Walker III, is known for his 1,050 rush yards, and 9 rushing touchdowns. Fellow cornerback of the Seahawks, Woolen, accumulated 63 tackles, 16 pass defenses, and 6 interceptions. Wilson, New York Jets’, earned 83 receptions, 1,103 yards, and 4 touchdowns.
According to the Seattle Seahawks’ website, voting closes on February third and, “The winner will be recognized during Super Bowl Week in Arizona and will be presented with a special designed Pepsi Zero Sugar-themed trophy”.