If Aidan Hutchinson had not been available at No. 2 overall, the Detroit Lions reportedly had a specific backup plan.
At No. 2 overall in the 2022 draft, fortune smiled on the Detroit Lions when Aidan Hutchinson was indeed available. As has been revealed since, they turned in that card in so quickly the league was mad.
Hutchinson was deemed a perfect fit for the Lions, and as it became likely the Jacksonville Jaguars would make Travon Walker the first overall pick the idea they’d get him grew more possible. If Hutchinson had been gone to Jacksonville at No.1, Detroit would have had a lot of other options at No. 2–controversial, sensible or otherwise.
Detroit Lions has specific backup plan if Aidan Hutchinson was gone at No. 2
According to SI.com’s Albert Breer, the Lions had a backup plan if Hutchinson was not there for them at No. 2 overall.
"One more note I have for you this week: Had the Jaguars taken Aidan Hutchinson with the first overall pick, I’m told that the Lions’ pick at 2 would have been Georgia edge Travon Walker. No word on whether or not the card would’ve gone in as quick as it did on Hutchinson, though."
Kudos to Breer for the tongue-in-cheek reference to how quickly the Lions turned in the card to take Hutchinson.
Walker put himself on the wider radar with a great performance at the NFL Combine, which cemented his status as at least a top-10 pick. He started to land in the conversation for the Lions with the second overall pick, but that faded in time as mock drafters widely tilted to Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeax or even Kyle Hamilton and Malik Willis. Then the buzz grew that the Jaguars would take Walker No. 1, and it would have been a surprise if they didn’t do it.
Talk of “what if” plans had someone not been available can be interesting, especially as time passes. But the Lions didn’t have to worry about their backup plan, with Hutchinson the guy they wanted at No. 2 and there for the taking.