Coming off of a stellar performance at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, let’s take a look at the 2022 NFL Draft Profile for one of the most talented players in the upcoming draft — Michigan Wolverines’ Aidan Hutchinson.
Name – Aidan Hutchinson
School – Michigan
Position – Defensive End
DOB – August 9, 2000 (21 years old)
Height – 6’7″
Weight – 260 pounds
Arm Length – 32 1/8”
Wingspan – 78 1/8”
40-Yard Dash – 4.74
Short Shuttle – 4.15
Three-Cone – 6.73
Vertical – 36”
Broad Jump – 9’9
Aidan Hutchinson is a born and raised Michigan native. He attended Divine Child High School in Dearborn, Michigan. During his time playing for the football team, Hutchinson found success in all three phases of the game. He played multiple positions on offense and defense, and even served as the teams’ long snapper for their special teams unit.
Following a spectacular high school career, Hutchinson fielded college offers from nearly every Big Ten team. Even LSU — the SEC powerhouse — extended a scholarship offer. It was never really a question where Aidan would end up, though. Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines zeroed in on Hutchinson early, securing a commitment from the four-star recruit.
The connections run deep for the Hutchinson family in Ann Arbor. Aidan’s father, Chris, was a team captain during his Michigan playing days. He won the 1992 team MVP and lands at 14th overall on the schools’ all-time tackles list. Aidan also has a handful of other family members with ties to the school, which made it a natural transition for the star pass rusher.
Hutchinson received Rookie of the Year honors in a limited capacity in 2018. In 2019, he began playing more frequently. Opposite Kwity Paye — 2021 Colts’ first-round pick — Hutchinson became a steady threat to the opposing teams’ backfield. Unfortunately, his momentum was derailed by an injury- (and COVID-) riddled 2020 season.
Coming into 2021, Aidan finally found himself with a clean bill of health and parlayed it into the best single-season sack total in Michigan school history (14). This was good enough for a runner-up finish to Bryce Young in Heisman voting, becoming only the third defensive player in college football history to finish inside the top two. The highlight of his season came in a dominant three-sack performance against their hated rival — the Ohio State Buckeyes. Hutchinson led the way en route to a Big Ten championship, and also played a pivotal role in clinching the first ever trip to the College Football Playoffs for Michigan.
2022 NFL Draft Profile
Athleticism – Hutchinson already found himself firmly in discussion as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. His performance at the Combine further supported those discussions, as Hutchinson tested out brilliantly. His 4.7 40-yard dash wasn’t quite on par with some of the athletic freaks in this class, but it’s still more than enough for Hutchinson’s skillset. He also put up an astonishing three-cone time, rivaling what his former teammate, Kwity Paye, posted 12 months ago.
Motor – One of the first things that jumps off the screen when watching Hutchinson is his relentless motor. He has a nose for the football and can be found pursuing tackles on the complete opposite side of the field from where he began. He does not believe in taking plays off. It is a lethal combination when a player has the work ethic to match their raw athletic ability, and Hutchinson has both in spades.
Strength – On top of being one of the most athletic players in the class, he also possesses superb strength. Hutchinson uses this to hand fight effectively as a pass rusher, as well as getting off the blocks from the few guys that are actually bigger than him. He can hold his own as a run defender and plays with enough force to terrorize opposing offensive tackles on a regular basis.
Power Moves – Hutchinson has a full catalog of moves at his disposal. He prefers to use the bull rush and rip through with his hands. While he will need to continue refining them, he’s shown an ability to mix in some swim moves and displays exceptional grip strength when engaged with the offensive tackle.
Mechanics – Hutchinson is a technician in many facets at the defensive end position, but even the best can have some inconsistent mechanics. Especially the best. Aidan Hutchinson routinely won by overpowering and “out-athleting” offensive tackles at the collegiate level. Because of this, there were instances on tape where his form became incredibly sloppy. The effort itself is never in question, but he could stand to be more consistent going through the motions.
Bend – The faulty fundamentals bleed over into this section too. Since Hutchinson knew he could simply fly by blockers, he has examples on tape of coming off the snap way too high. He flashes the flexibility, so you know that he is capable. The problem is that on those plays with the sloppy technique, he could easily be taken out of the play by more savvy offensive tackles at the next level. Nearly every red flag can be eliminated if he gets better with the nuances that come with the position.
Secondary Rushing Moves – Another minor complaint is how Hutchinson reacts on the plays that he is stuffed. When his initial move is rebuffed, there’s a track record of him getting “stuck in the mud”. It is a grown man’s league full of players with grown men strength, so Hutch will have to find ways to eliminate the sloppier parts of his technique while adding in some secondary pass rush moves when his initial attempt is stopped. Admittedly, the improvement section was a bit nit-picky but nobody is perfect on every snap.
The lifelong Michigan native — and son of a Wolverine alum — lived up to the hype in 2021. Posting the single most impressive stat line by a pass rusher in Michigan history, putting him squarely on the 2022 NFL Draft radar. He will be an immediate contributor and likely will hear his name called within the first five selections — with the potential to go as high as No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Aidan Hutchinson is one of the safest bets in the 2022 NFL Draft and also presents a high ceiling, making him the rare high floor/high ceiling player.