When the Detroit Lions take the field later on this fall, they will have no shortage of young players that are capable of doing damage, but one might stand out above all the rest.
Aidan Hutchinson has already been projected to play a major role for the Lions this coming season, but folks have gone beyond that to believe that he will be taking home honors for what he does on the field. Yet another vote has been cast Hutchinson’s way from the media.
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Sports Illustrated insider Albert Breer was asked in a recent offseason mailbag segment who his pick would be to win Defensive Rookie of the Year award. As he explained, he almost picked cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., but instead went with Hutchinson given his ability to generate major plays on defense.
“I’ll go with chalk and say Lions pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson, pro-ready as they come, will get 10 sacks and the hardware,” Breer wrote within the mailbag piece.
A season like this would be huge for Hutchinson and the Lions and could likely help net him the award when all is said and done. So far, Breer is simply the latest pundit to go on record with a major prediction about Hutchinson’s future.
Bleacher Report Writer: Hutchinson Wins Top Rookie Honor
Breer is far from the only person that is casting a vote for Hutchinson before the season starts. Several writers believe the defender has the goods to be the league’s top rookie defender in 2022. One of those folks is Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport, who recently projected it to happen in a piece on the site.
While two other writers picked Kayvon Thibodeaux to win Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in an awards prediction piece, Davenport admitted that he is rolling with Hutchinson to claim the honors given what he means to the Lions defense and pass rush.
“Hutchinson is pro-ready. He’s going to hit the ground running, stuff the run to the tune of 40-plus stops, rack up 10-12 sacks and coast to Defensive Rookie of the Year,” he wrote.
That prediction would make lots of folks in Detroit happy, as it would likely point to a very resurgent defense in addition to a successful Hutchinson. Overall, it’s something that folks will be hoping plays out in a big way.
Lions Have Checkered History With Defensive Rookie Award
While some would believe the Lions have never had a Defensive Rookie of the Year winner, it has happened before, albeit not very often or regularly. It’s been over a decade since Ndamukong Suh claimed the honor with his electric 10 sack, 66 tackle season in 2010. Suh represents the last Lions player to claim the honor. Prior to Suh, it had been since 1978 and Al “Bubba” Baker since Detroit had claimed the award. Baker had an eye-opening start to his career which managed to net him hardware, putting up 23 sacks in 16 games. Before that, it had been since defensive back Lem Barney, who claimed the very first iteration of this honor in 1967 with a stout 10 interception, 3 touchdown inaugural season.
Other than those three players, the Lions haven’t been able to claim many winners of this award, so Hutchinson would be bucking a major trend if he takes home the hardware. The reason for all the problems has been the team has drafted poorly and failed to develop home-grown talent on the field. They will have to hope that changes now with Hutchinson, and it’s possible that could be the result when all is said and done.
Thus far, that’s an outcome that several media folks and insiders are beginning to predict.