Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023

There is a reason the Detroit Lions took defense end Aidan Hutchinson out of the University of Michigan with the No. 2 pick. Lions head coach Dan Campbell says Hutchinson is already proving why he deserved to be taken so high in this year’s draft.

The team has not seen much of Hutchinson yet, but what they do see is exactly what they were hoping for in the rookie.

“His approach is everything we thought it would be,” Campbell said. “He’s in the meeting rooms, he’s attentive, he’s wanting to learn, he’s taking it all in, he’s doing what’s asked of him. And then it’s trial by fire, like the rest of them, ‘I gotta learn from my mistakes.’ He’s been all business.”

Campbell admitted that you can never be positive about a player and that it is very early, but explained that he likes what he sees in the 6-foot-6, 260 pound rookie.

“You can never tell for sure, but I would say this — it’s one of the reasons why we wanted to pick this guy, is his DNA says he’s going to do everything that he can to be successful,” he said. “And he’s got enough ability and enough strength, he certainly does, to go out there and help us and help us win some games. Now, when will that be? How fast will that be? I don’t know. I know this, we’re not going to put him out there until he’s ready. He’s going to have to show it to us. But we’ll see how it goes. Again, we’re Day Two into OTAs, so.”

In practice, Hutchinson will be going against offensive tackles Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell, something Campbell says will benefit the rookie.

“I think this is where Hutch is gonna have a big advantage, is the fact that he’s gonna have to go against Sewell and Decker every day,” the head coach said. “I think that’s huge. I think that’ll play more into his development than a lot of other things. So, I feel like he’s going to be going against quality tackles, so that in and of itself is, I think, can [accelerate] his progression.”

Hutchinson’s college resume includes being the Lombardi Award winner, which goes to the nation’s top lineman, coming in second for the Heisman Trophy and recording 14 sacks in his last season. The Lions are hoping this kind of production can help them go from being one of the consistently worst teams in the league to, well, not as bad.

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