Records put within range of 2023 outcomes for Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson by an NFL scout

Aidan Hutchinson seems primed for a big season, but a scout has offered a huge ceiling for the Lions' second-year defensive end.

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Aidan Hutchinson delivered as expected as a rookie, leading all rookies in sacks and quarterback hits along with three interceptions. If not for Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, he would have been Defensive Rookie of the Year and there's a case he should have been anyway.

With all the inherent cliches, Hutchinson has noted how the game is slowing down for him heading into his season. Double-digit sacks is a no-brainer bar for him to reach this year, and well more could be in store as long as he's healty.

NFL insider Matt Lombardo recently spoke with league personnel to tab some second-year breakout candidates. Hutchinson naturally made the list, but a specific prediction takes it up a notch or two.

A record-setting campaign for Aidan Hutchinson in 2023?

A veteran NFC scout, who of course had to remain anonymous, went big to set a ceiling for Hutchinson this season.

"He had a really nice rookie year, but I think Aidan Hutchinson is going to really breakout. I'm not saying he's Nick Bosa, T.J. Watt, or those guys. But, I think he'll take a big step, I wouldn't be surprised if he has 15 or 20 sacks this year." - Veteran NFC Scout"

The Lions' single-season sack record is 15, since sacks became an official stat in 1982, set by Robert Porcher in 1999. The NFL single-season record is 22.5 sacks, set by Michael Strahan in 2001 and tied by T.J. Watt in 2021. So if Hutchinson reached 15 or 20 sacks this year, he'd be in some rare air.

Lions safety Kerby Joseph also made the list of second-year breakout candidates via Lombardo's conversations.

"Kerby is a freak athlete and a playmaker. Not many like him back there in the NFL." - NFC Personnel Director"

Joseph showed himself to be a ballhawk as a rookie last year, with four interceptions (three of Aaron Rodgers) and a 84.8 passer rating allowed when targeted (according to Pro Football Reference). He also seems set to make a leap in his second season, in line with the overall ascension of the Lions' defense.

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