The Detroit Lions got a little lucky to land Aidan Hutchinson with the second-overall pick in 2022, after the Jacksonville Jaguars passed on him No. 1 overall in favor of the "upside" pick Travon Walker. But Hutchinson has delivered big, already taking a place among the best edge rushers in the NFL not even halfway into his second season.
Through Week 5 this season, Pro Football Focus has graded Hutchinson out as a top-five edge rusher in the league. As you can see, he's in some elite company-Nick Bosa, Myles Garrett, Maxx Crosby and T.J. Watt.
So far this season, Hutchinson's play has mimicked and even bested some of the best pass rushers in the league. He already has 15 combined tackles, 4.5 sacks and one interception to his credit. He's made as big an impact as any of the veteran studs he's keeping company with.
This offseason, Hutchinson was open about his goal to exceed his rookie sack total of 9.5 as he took lessons from his rookie season forward. He is on the fast track to getting that done through five games.
Aidan Hutchinson breaking the NFL mold for a defensive end
ESPN's Field Yates revealed a fascinating stat. Since 2021, there is only one player in the league with at least 10 sacks and four interceptions.
That stat shows how Hutchinson is breaking the mold of what a traditional defensive lineman/edge rusher can do. He can get after the quarterback of course, but he also has recognition, awareness and the ability to finish the process (catching the ball) to make unique, game-changing plays for the Lions' defense.
Hutchinson has been electric with the Lions. Not only is he looking like one of the best players at his position statistically, but he is also showing off skills that haven't quite been seen before from a pass rusher.