After drafting Aidan Hutchinson with the second overall pick and witnessing the dominant performance he had this past season, it is safe to say that the Lions got a cornerstone piece for their franchise. Hutchinson was deemed to be the most pro ready prospect coming out of the draft, and was highly considered to be the first overall selection. Fortunately for the Lions, the Jacksonville Jaguars with the first overall pick selected Travon Walker, who had and still has a very high upside. However, he has underperformed for the first overall pick thus far. So with the second overall pick, the Lions raced to the podium in order to select Hutchinson. Even with the second overall pick this could be seen as a good value pick.
Hutchinson was not only a great prospect, but was a great culture fit for what the Lions were and are trying to build. He has that never ending motor and the ability to continue to work hard no matter what, and that was what Dan Campbell has been preaching for the last two years. When the regular season began, Hutchinson was ready. He established himself as the best pass rusher for the Lions, and ended the season with an incredible rookie season statically speaking. Hutchinson ended the season with 52 total tackles, 9.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 3 pass deflections, and 3 interceptions. This great statistical performance by Hutchinson showcases his ability to impact the game in numerous ways.
So how does Hutchinson rank compared to other star rookie defensive ends?
Entering the league in 2019, Nick Bosa had lofty expectations placed on him as he was the second overall pick for the San Francisco 49ers. His rookie season was additionally really impressive as he managed to tally 47 total tackles, 9 sacks, 1 force fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 interception. However, Aidan Hutchinson nearly beats Bosa at every statistical point showcasing how dominant Hutchinson was this year.
The utmost discrepancy is the fact that Hutchinson had 3 interceptions compared to Bosa 1 interception. In fact, Bosa has only recorded one interception his whole career, which showcases how crazy it is that Hutchinson, a defensive end, has 3 interceptions.
Another defensive end phenomen, Chase Young, was additionally selected with the second overall pick in the 2020 draft. Young like Bosa and Hutchinson had high expectations placed on him as he was the second overall pick in the draft. Young was also joining an insane defensive line that included Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, and Montez Sweat. This stacked defensive line should have led Young to have a dominant rookie campaign, but he had only an above average season.
Young finished his rookie campaign with 44 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, and 4 pass deflections. Additionally, Young his previous two seasons has been heavily affected by injury, which has negatively affected his development.
The Lions got themself a franchise pass rusher, which has been something they have been lacking for some time. Also, Aidan Hutchinson is on par if not better than some of the best pass rushers in the league in terms of where he is at in the development process at the end of his rookie season. Let’s hope that the Lions can continue his upward trajectory.