Defensive Rookie of the Year Watch: NFL Week 2 – Hutchinson Leads the Pack

Aidan Hutchinson poses onstage after being selected second by the Detroit Lions during round one of the 2022 NFL Draft (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
Aidan Hutchinson poses onstage after being selected second by the Detroit Lions during round one of the 2022 NFL Draft (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images) /

Following on from my offensive rookie watch from the day before yesterday, this is the first installment of the defensive rookie watch. In this article, we go through the best week two performances from the 2022 NFL Draft class on the defensive side of the ball. Without further ado, let’s get things rolling.

Defensive Rookie Watch – NFL Week 2

Edge Rushers

Following the amount of hype that was generated for this group, they more than delivered in week two. The standout performer was, without a doubt, former Michigan Wolverine Aidan Hutchinson. The No. 2 overall pick was dominant for Detroit, en route to a three sack day against the Washington Commanders. Seahawks rookie Boye Mafe also had a good week two, registering a sack against the San Francisco 49ers and their strong offensive line. The arrow is pointing up for this group.

Interior Defensive Linemen

This week wasn’t the greatest for the interior defensive line group, with none of them having a fantastic day during week two. However, there were some solid performances notably from undrafted free agent Kurt Hinish. Hinish is a former member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who recorded one-and-a-half TFLs and two tackles against the Denver Broncos.


The linebacker group had a great day all-round in the second week of the NFL season. The best performance was courtesy of Devin Lloyd, one of the Jacksonville Jaguar’s first-round selections in the 2022 NFL Draft. He recorded six total tackles and three pass deflections, as well as an interception against Colts quarterback Matt Ryan. Elsewhere, sixth-round rookie Malcolm Rodriguez also had a good showing, recording eight tackles and one TFL as his Lions beat the Commanders.


Another of the more hyped-up groups in the pre-draft process, the cornerbacks of the 2022 NFL Draft have had some good performances so far. Derek Stingley Jr., the No. 3 overall pick, had two crucial PBUs against Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos. Sauce Gardner, who was taken the very next pick, also registered a PBU for the Jets in their win over the Browns. However, the standout performer was seventh-round pick Jaylen Watson, who intercepted Justin Herbert before returning it 99 yards for a momentum-killing pick-six.


The safety group, much like the interior defensive line group, didn’t have any real standout performances but did have some solid games dotted around. Kyle Hamilton, my No. 1 player from the 2022 NFL Draft, recorded a single PBU while not having a brilliant game overall. Jaquan Brisker continued his hot start to the season with a 10-tackle game against the Green Bay Packers.

Defensive Rookie of the Year Leaders:

  1. Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Detroit Lions
  2. Devin Lloyd, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars
  3. Travon Walker, EDGE, Jacksonville Jaguars
  4. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, Houston Texans
  5. Malcolm Rodriguez, LB, Detroit Lions
  6. Jaquan Brisker, DB, Chicago Bears