Mel Kiper Picks Aidan Hutchinson to Contend for Top NFL Award in 2022

Aidan Hutchinson

Getty Aidan Hutchinson on stage with Roger Goodell at the 2022 NFL draft.

When the Detroit Lions entered the 2022 NFL draft process, most folks believed they would need to get incredibly lucky to land Aidan Hutchinson given his presence as the potential top player in the draft.

Detroit ended up getting lucky in that way, and when Hutchinson fell, they didn’t hesitate to nab him. Now, folk are taking notice of what a good pick that could have ended up being.

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Such is the case for ESPN’s Mel Kiper. Kiper was breaking down what played out the first night of the draft and loved the Hutchinson pick from the Detroit perspective. As he wrote, it was good for the Lions to get possibly the top player in the draft at their spot. Adding to the win is the fact he sees Hutchinson as very good and able to contend for a top award immediately.

“I don’t get the talk about Hutchinson already being close to his ceiling. He had 14 sacks last season, but he can keep improving. He had a better 3-cone drill time, short shuttle time and vertical jump than Travon Walker at the combine. He’s going to be an instant contributor and should challenge for Defensive Rookie of the Year,” Kiper said in the piece.

Hutchinson should start on a Detroit defense that only registered 30 sacks last year and play a big role. To that end, he will get a chance to make a major impact which could help him with regards to statistics.

It will be fun to see where Hutchinson goes his first year in the league, but already, big things are being predicted.

Analyst: Hutchinson Represents ‘Value Pick’ for Lions

This year’s draft didn’t have to wait long to see a value pick. When Hutchinson didn’t go first-overall, it represented a situation where the Lions were able to hang back and find value with the second pick. ESPN analyst Field Yates quickly pointed out that the Lions nabbed an early value by nabbing Hutchinson.

“It’s rare for a player to be a massive value at pick number 2 overall. But Aidan Hutchinson is exactly that. Immediate contributor, massive upside, will be a perfect fit with what Detroit is building,” Yates tweeted.

Rarely if ever are values found so fast after a single pick is made, but in Hutchinson, Detroit could have landed the draft’s best player simply by being patient.

Hutchinson Bringing Comfortable Mindset to Lions

Often times, the biggest reason an athlete succeeds or fails at the next level is mindset. Some young players get too high or low and it can impact how they transition to the league. This isn’t going to be the case with Hutchinson in Detroit, as he is already committed to having the right mindset and adjusting to a place he feels is a comfortable fit. Speaking to the media on Thursday, April 28, Hutchinson proved why he’s ready to do that.

Detroit Lions Media Availability: Apr. 28, 2022 | Aidan HutchinsonWatch Detroit Lions first-round draft pick, number 2 overall, Aidan Hutchinson meet with the media Apr. 28, 2022. Subscribe to the Lions YT Channel: More Lions NFL Action: #DetroitLions #Lions #NFL Keep up-to-date on all things Lions: Visit Follow: Follow: Like:

“I’m just going to continue to do what I do and just give it everything I got. I’m going to be happy with the outcome either way so I don’t feel a whole lot of pressure. I think it’s great coming back home, get to stay close to family. (It) makes the transition easier. It’s going to be a very good time,” Hutchinson said to the media.

In terms of fitting in with the team, Hutchinson plans to take his time and fall into a role rather than fighting too hard or pushing for one.

“Obviously I’m gonna stay quiet. I’m a rookie. I’m young. I’m just gonna go put my nose to the grindstone and really just get after it and not say a whole bunch but just earn the respect of others before I ever think to step up. I’m just going to go there and and do my thing and do what I’ve always done,” he said.

If Hutchinson does what he always does, it would not be a shock to see him end up with some hardware right away in 2022. That’s the hope in Detroit, anyhow.

READ NEXT: Aidan Hutchinson Sends His First Message to Lions Fans

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