The Detroit Lions got lucky in the 2022 NFL draft when Aidan Hutchinson fell into their lap with the second-overall pick, and that fact is only more amplified now that the player is firmly in the mix in the Motor City.
Already, Hutchinson is impressing coaches and teammates en-route to being one of the most interesting players on the team for this coming season, and that’s a fact that is only underscored by a new shoutout that Hutchinson received from Peter King of NBC Sports.
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In a recent Football Morning in America piece, King picked out his annual 22 most influential NFL personalties for this coming season. While the Lions didn’t have a lot of love on the list, they did land a rookie under the bonus category in the form of Hutchinson.
As King wrote, Hutchinson represents more than just football for the Lions, a franchise that needs some hope. For this reason, King sees Hutchinson as essential for the team this season and one of the best stories in the entire NFL.
“Hutchinson is a symbol of progress for a franchise that needs one in the worst way. He actually wants to play for the Lions. And the NFL, by putting the Lions on “Hard Knocks” this summer and awarding the city and the Lions the NFL Draft in 2023, is placing a bet that the Lions won’t be a laughingstock much longer,” King wrote in the story.
King also admitted that Hutchinson is “at the center of it” in terms of Detroit’s revival and is a face of what the team believes is a hopeful future. To that end, he already looks influential heading toward 2022 even though he hasn’t even played a snap in the league as of yet.
For Hutchinson and the Lions, though, this is a significant honor. It could show the team is truthfully on the right path for a turnaround both now and in the near future as well.
Hutchinson Will Play Major Role for Lions in 2022
A big reason Hutchinson could be a welcome addition for Detroit on the field and off? The Lions drafted him with not just hopes of being a dominating force, but expectations of it. Defensively, the team had a need for a player who could get into the face of the opposition, and there is nobody better at doing that lately than Hutchinson. For that reason, the Lions should be happy to have him on the roster. Hutchinson also translates as a day one starter for the team given what he can do. The Lions will have the flexibility to either move him in or out of the lineup based on a bit of a deeper front, which will allow him a good chance at being successful right off the bat in Detroit. It’s a major reason Hutchinson could be looked at as such an exiting piece this year.
Hutchinson’s ability to play tough on the field as well as give the team some immediate production figures to make him a quick hit for the Lions, and could make him one of the scariest players in the league when all is said and done right off the bat.
Why Hutchinson Figures as Significant for Lions
The Lions are in good shape with Hutchinson because the player already embodies what Detroit is all about, as King points out. Pre-draft, Hutchinson admitted to not necessarily being a Lions fan as he grew up in Detroit, but understanding the ups and downs of the franchise. Just before he was selected, Hutchinson seemed to understand the significance if he could be part of the reason the team managed to turn things around with him in the mix. Now that he is with the team, it seems Hutchinson is fitting in well and understanding the lay of the land in a big way. This only helps his comfort as he transitions into the league.
If the Lions do turn things around, Hutchinson will be viewed as a big reason why that was the case. To that end, it makes sense for King to include him on this list for the future, and it’s a nice honor for the first-year player to take home.