Michael Brockers was on NFL Network Wednesday morning, and he took the opportunity to make the case for Aidan Hutchinson to win Defensive Rookie of the Year.
NFL Honors will take place on Thursday night. The Detroit Lions are up for two awards, with defensive end Aidan Hutchinson a finalist for Defensive Rookie of the Year and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson in the running for Assistant Coach of the Year.
Lions defensive tackle (at least for now) Michael Brockers was on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on Wednesday morning. Amid his talk about the team and the turnaround over the final two months of the season, co-host Shaun O’Hara asked Brockers about Hutchinson and his candidacy for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
"Me, biasedly obviously, I think he should win the crown because just look at how much he—he rushes the pass really well, he drops in coverage, caught a bunch of interceptions this season, made plays,” Brockers said. “He’s always around the ball. He made an impact when he was in the game. I just think (he’s an) all-around player who just made an impact while he was on the field. I think he did at that while being a rookie. I just tip my hat to the guy. He’s a hell of a player. He was a great rookie. I can say that, and he has a long career ahead of him.”"
Aidan Hutchinson has very strong case to win Defensive Rookie of the Year
Along with his production (9.5 sacks, three interceptions, etc.), and his clear growth as the season went along, only one other edge rusher in the entire NFL (Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby, 1,085 snaps) played more snaps than Hutchinson did (958).
New York Jets cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner is the betting favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year, and Hutchinson will have tough time beating him out. The fourth overall pick in the 2022 draft led all NFL cornerbacks in pass breakups (20) and Pro Football Focus grade (87.9). Gardner won the Pro Football Writers of America Defensive Rookie of the Year in January, if that pre-cursor counts for anything. Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen is the third finalist for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Defensive Rookie of the Year award or not come Thursday night, Hutchinson had a great first season. He was everything the Lions hoped he’d be when they took him second overall last April.