Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson surpasses Kayvon Thibodeaux in rankings

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Not only has Aidan Hutchinson launched himself into the conversation of being a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded to the top player in college football; but he’s also firmly in the conversation to be the no. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.  Hutchinson would fill a decade-long void on the Detroit Lions roster.

Let’s face the facts; the Detroit Lions have struggled to generate any type of consistent pass-rush since the days of Ndamukong Suh, Ziggy Ansah, and DeAndre Levy.

Things haven’t worked out with Trey Flowers, Da’Shawn Hand, Everson Griffen, Devon Kennard, Austin Bryant, and Julian Okwara, just to name a few over the past couple of seasons.  The Lions found something in Romeo Okwara, who unfortunately was forced to miss most of 2021 due to a torn Achilles injury.

I never expected Flowers to be a consistent double-digit sack contributor, knowing he’d help the defense by setting the edge, commanding a double-team, and adding seven to nine sacks on a regular basis.  Unfortunately, he’s struggled to produce with the Detroit Lions.

Flowers signed a massive five-year deal worth $90 million and hasn’t lived up to the hype and appears to be the latest New England Patriot cast away cashing in elsewhere but struggling to find the same results.

Aidan Hutchinson would be the perfect pick for the Detroit Lions.

For the longest time, it seemed Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux would be the consensus first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.  The main reason is that the quarterback class is far weaker than in years past, plus Thibodeaux is a franchise-caliber edge-rusher.

Maybe many of us are quickly overreacting to Hutchinson’s career-day performance in Michigan’s victory over Ohio State. Still, the star edge-rusher produced 15 total pressures on the day, recording three sacks and seven tackles on the biggest stage.

Hutchinson’s 15 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF), were the most by anyone since 2014, back when they started tracking such a stat.

Pro Football Focus has an overall grade of 93.8 for Hutchinson on the season, which currently leads the country.  His 93.0 mark for his ability to rush the passer leads all edge-rushers, while Thibodeaux comes in seventh in the country at 91.7.  Thibodeaux has earned an overall mark of 84.6, which is significantly lower than Hutchinson’s at this time.  PFF also now has Hutchinson as the top prospect on their big board.

Hutchinson has compiled 68 pressures, a whopping 13 sacks (six in the past three weeks), and 44 total tackles in 2021, and someone, the Detroit Lions, need to strongly consider drafting with their first choice in the NFL Draft.