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Aidan Hutchinson's Latest Draft Stock

Aidan Hutchinson's dream senior season continues.

After dominating all season, but especially over the last three or four weeks, Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson has become a household name, and not just among Wolverine fans. 

ESPN senior writer and NFL Draft expert Todd McShay now has Hutchinson as the clear-cut No. 1 overall prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft. Hutchinson has regularly been inside the top ten, but McShay now sees Hutchinson as a lock to go first next April.

Hutchinson plays a powerful game and is truly relentless in pursuit. He also has fast eyes and locates the ball really well. I also like his inside move, and his ability to line up on either side and drop in coverage will be valuable to NFL teams. The senior can stack blockers at the point of attack and has active hands. He has 14.0 sacks (third in the country), 15.5 tackles for loss (tied for 22nd), 12 quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles this season for the Wolverines. On the season, Hutchinson has three games with more than two sacks, and he has seven sacks over his past four games. The potential Heisman Trophy finalist now has an opportunity to challenge for the national sack lead in the College Football Playoff.

Mel Kiper Jr. agrees.

Yes, Hutchinson makes the leap to the top of my Big Board. He has been unreal down the stretch and is now a Heisman Trophy finalist. Since I last updated my rankings, he has doubled his sack total. He now has 14 and two forced fumbles, showing powerful moves and relentless pursuit of quarterbacks. Three of those sacks came in the win over Ohio State, as he dominated the Buckeyes' O-line. Hutchinson played only 144 defensive snaps last season before he injured his leg against Indiana and had to have surgery; the Michigan defense cratered after he was hurt. He was outstanding as a sophomore in 2019, putting up 4.5 sacks and creating havoc in the backfield (10.5 total tackles for loss). It's going to be a real battle between Hutchinson and Thibodeaux for the No. 1 pick.

Hutchinson's story is pretty remarkable. He was a very solid high school player but he wasn't a five-star by any means and honestly didn't have a loaded offer list. Part of that was because his future at Michigan was pretty much a lock, but part of it was also because he was nowhere near the player he is now. He always had the motor and the potential, but no one saw this kind of development.

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Hutchinson played quite a bit as a true freshman and then obviously a lot as a sophomore, but then ran into several roadblocks in 2020. Obviously the pandemic was a big part of that, but Hutchinson also injured his leg and missed most of the year. Still, he showed flashes as a freaky 6-6, 270-pounder, which put him on NFL radars. He flirted with the idea of entering the draft, but decided to come back in order to beat Ohio State and win a Big Ten title. 

Check and check. 

The story is even more incredible since Aidan is the son of Chris Hutchinson, a former All-American defensive tackle at Michigan. As a sophomore, Aidan once asked his dad, "How in the world did you get double-digit sacks in one season?" Now, the younger lineman has 14 — a Michigan single-season record — and at least one more game to add to that total.

Now Hutchinson is a Heisman finalist. He's not the favorite to win it, but the fact that he's going to be in New York representing Michigan is truly remarkable. Even though he probably won't bring home the coveted trophy, he probably will be the No. 1 overall pick in a little less than five months. 

What a ride.