The Detroit Lions will be likely to have a top pick in the 2022 NFL draft, and when they do, there will be no shortage of players that they must consider in a wide-open year.
Without a quarterback thus far that has made the case as an overwhelming favorite to be drafted, that has left things open at the top, and so far, there’s been a bit of a consensus developing that Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson should be thought of as a potential top pick.
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After Hutchinson played a starring role in Michigan’s victory over Ohio State with 3 sacks on Saturday, November 27, folks hopped on Twitter and started to bang the drum for the local star to be the top pick for the pass-rush needy Lions.
Many fans didn’t want to say it, but are becoming more comfortable with the Hutchinson to Lions talk at this point in time of the season after watching the player perform.
Members of the local media seem to agree, with Fox 2 reporter Ryan Ermanni tweeting that he believes the Lions will have to give Hutchinson a long look at being the top overall pick.
It’s not just fans and local media that are all-in on Hutchinson, though. Pro Football Focus writer Austin Gayle tweeted about the potential for Hutchinson to work his way up the draft board and perhaps take over the spot at the top of the draft that is also occupied by Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux.
Add it all up and it’s clear there has been more than a bit of a consensus about what the Lions must do if Hutchinson keeps up his elite play. He might become too good to pass up for a team like Detroit that needs major help up front on defense.
Hutchinson’s Stats & Highlights
In terms of Hutchinson, several Lions fans will also likely know what he is capable of given his career at Michigan, and the defensive end has put up some solid numbers in school already. Coming into this season, Hutchinson collected 94 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Here’s some of his work from the past:
This year, his work has been even better. Hutchinson has put together a stellar regular season with 12 sacks, 54 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. He’s looked like one of the best defenders in college football throughout the second half of the season and has been a problem for whatever teams have lined up against him thus far.
Lions’ Top 2022 NFL Draft Needs
If the Lions manage to secure the top selection in the draft as it’s looking like they might, there’s a multitude of ways they could elect to go with the pick given the unique needs of the roster. The team’s defense needs playmakers up front to rush the passer along the defensive line, and could also need depth on the back end at cornerback. Offensively, the Lions have a major need for a big time pass catching wideout to help their down field attack on offense. As always, quarterback is going to be a position to watch near the top of the draft, especially considering the early struggles of Jared Goff with the Lions in 2021.
The good news for Detroit? They also have the first-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams by virtue of the Matthew Stafford trade for this year and next year, and figure to gain multiple compensatory selections for 2022 so some serious building can occur for the roster if the team manages to secure the top overall pick. Obviously, there is no shortage of needs for the team to ponder with all of their selections next year.
If the team has a shot at a potentially elite defender, it could be turning into a no-brainer type move. Whether or not Hutchinson is the guy remains to be seen, but there is definitely some momentum building for him and a hungry Lions fanbase.