Lions Select DE Aidan Hutchinson At No. 2

Aidan Hutchinson is staying in Michigan. The Lions have selected the Michigan defensive end with the second-overall pick in the draft.

Following a 2020 season where Hutchinson’s season ended early after he suffered a fracture in his leg that required season-ending surgery, the defensive end returned in full force in 2021.

Hutchinson set a school record with 14.0 sacks in a single season, more than tripling his output from his first three years combined. He tacked on 62 tackles and led the teams in tackles for loss and quarterback hurries with 16.5 and 12, respectively. After a dominant performance versus rival Ohio State that saw the 21-year-old tally 3.0 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss, Hutchinson shot up draft boards, pushing what was likely a first-round selection into conversations for the No. 1 overall selection. Ultimately, he’ll stay in Michigan after going second-overall.

As our own Ely Allen wrote, Hutchinson was built to be a pass-rusher. He’s extremely strong with quick feet and efficient hand use. He knows he can win relatively easily at the college level, so he tends to tolerate a bit more contact than is necessary, something he’ll need to avoid at the next level using the multitude of pass-rushing moves at his disposal. He’s a weight room warrior, but likely won’t be able to add much more weight at the next level. He’s probably maxed out his size. He has a high motor and quick recognition, but his instincts in the running game can hurt him occasionally. He’s often posed as a slightly lesser version of the Bosa brothers with a bit less bend.

The Lions were also connected to Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux at No. 2, but Hutchinson seemed like a logical target if he fell past the Jaguars. The rookie will provide a natural boost to a Lions defense that struggled mightily in 2021, and the organization is certainly hoping the defensive end can be a mainstay in Detroit.

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