Aidan Hutchindon - EDGE - Michigan
Welcome to the rookie profile for Aidan Hutchinson. Hutchinson is a dead cert to be a top 3 pick in this years draft, no way will more than 3 teams pass up on him. Hutchinson is NFL ready and will make an instant impact in the league, he’s a high-floor type edge-rush that teams dream of in the NFL.
Height: 6′ 6″
Weight: 265 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.63s
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
Bench Press: DNP
Hutchinson was a 4 star recruit out of high school and as a Michigan native along with his father previously playing for the Michigan Wolverines, there was only one place Hutchinson was going to play, choosing Michigan over offers from Wisconsin, LSU and Boston College.
Hutchinson didn’t see a lot of playing time in his freshman season and it wasn’t until his sophomore year that he made an impact as he put up an impressive 68 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. This led Hutchinson to third team All-Big 10 honors.
Hoping to build momentum on his breakthrough sophomore year, his 2020 season was cut short by an ankle injury in the third game of the campaign, because of this it was decided that Hutchinson would return for his senior year in 2021.
Hutchinson throughout 2021 has played an elite style of football and guaranteed himself a top 3 draft selection after racking up 62 tackles on the year, 16.5 tackles for a loss, 14 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. The honors kept rolling in for Hutchinson as he was named the winner of the Ted Hendricks Award, The Lombardi Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy. Hutchinson was named the Nagurski-Woodson defensive player of the year and the Smith-Brown defensive lineman of the year. Hutchinson was also a Heisman Trophy finalist where he finished as a runner-up for the award behind Alabama QB, Bryce Young.
Michigan won the 2021 Big Ten Championship Game which saw Hutchinson named the MVP in their 42-3 demolition of the Iowa Hawkeyes; this was the Michigan Wolverines first championship since 2015.
Hutchinson throughout 2021 was quite simply the most dominant pass rusher in collegiate football and was almost impossible to block. An elite athlete with a combination of strength, speed and quickness alongside fluid footwork which allows him to redirect and reverse momentum and close with a burst of speed.
Run defense is often overlooked at the EDGE position as those in the sack column of the box score tend to take all the plaudits; however Hutchinson is a great exponent of run defense. A combination of his ability to quickly understand running concepts, shedding blocks and his vice-like grip allow him to stand out whilst defending the run.
Hutchinson is a versatile player, playing in various alignments including 3 and 5 technique as well as far outside on the tackles shoulder. It’s safe to say that this versatility will allow him to make an instant impact in the NFL. Throughout 2021 he mostly lined up as a stand-up rusher, however in previous years he had shown that he could win in the dirt when rushing from an in-line alignment.
Hutchinson has fantastic lateral mobility and excellent movement skills for a player of his size whilst looking light and agile when sliding his feet and changing direction, quite explosive when moving laterally out of the snap. His first step is outrageously explosive, especially when it’s combined with his frame, this allows him to put instant pressure on offensive tackles.
It’s hard to pick holes in the best defensive talent to enter this year’s draft (and possibly the past few years) however as much as he often manages to get to the QB off his athletic abilities alone it’d be great to see him add more pass rush moves to his game.
Hutchinson’s bend is slightly lacking and at 265lbs he’s not exactly going to be a player to turn corners to the QB whilst he’s rushing the outside edge.
After dominating collegiate football in 2021, the ankle injury from the season before may be a concern as to how this will hold up in the future.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 1
Hutchinson is a guaranteed top 3 pick in this year’s draft and whilst the Jaguars are first on the clock, I personally see them selecting Kyle Hamilton to protect their franchise QB, Trevor Lawrence, although they could well be tempted at the possibility of creating what would be one of the NFL’s best pressuring duos alongside Josh Allen.
If the Jaguars pass on Hutchinson then he’d be an obvious choice for either the Lions or Texans who will be the next teams up, whilst both teams’ edge rushers aren’t exactly bad it’s obvious that Hutchinson would be an instant upgrade and a good foundation for these two teams to build on.