2022 NFL Draft: Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson shines in prime time

2022 NFL Mock Draft, Aidan Hutchinson. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
2022 NFL Mock Draft, Aidan Hutchinson. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson had a fabulous night in a win over Washington and builds towards being a first round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Michigan Wolverines are off to a good start in 2021, and they capped their 2-0 start with a 31-10 win over Washington under the bright lights in the Big House. It wouldn’t be a prime time game without some 2022 NFL Draft implications as well. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson put together a phenomenal night for the Wolverines, and reminded many why he was on the draft radar last season.

Hutchinson showed off his skill set as a flexible, strong disruptor in both phases of the game. He’s got the strength to hold up against the run and can attack gaps and fly downhill with great closing speed to make plays in the backfield, and was part of a big fourth down stop early in the game.

As a pass rusher, Hutchinson logged multiple sacks in the game working on both sides of the line. He looked good against potential first round pick Jaxson Kirkland, walking him back with a strong bull rush, then using a great club move to shed the block and close on the quarterback. Washington even decided to throw a tight end at him, which of course didn’t work. He made life difficult for Washington all night long.

Aidan Hutchinson has a chance to continue to rise up draft boards for the 2022 NFL Draft, and it’s because of the athleticism, flexibility and strength. In a statement game for Michigan and a resume game, Hutchinson shined under the lights and made plays all game long. Yes, the edge class is a deep one right now, but there’s no reason that Hutchinson can’t crash the party and end up in the first round, and maybe even the top half of the first round. He’s that good, and continuing to show up big like that all season will prove he’s worthy of a first round selection.