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2022 Stat Prediction for Aidan Hutchinson

SI All Lions provides its stat prediction for Detroit Lions rookie EDGE Aidan Hutchinson.

The Detroit Lions got their man at No. 2 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft in Michigan native Aidan Hutchinson, a huge upgrade for the team's lackluster pass-rushing unit. 

The EDGE defender and Dearborn (Mich.) Divine Child High School product comes into the NFL with the makeup of a perennial Pro Bowl-caliber pass rusher, and expectations subsequently are through the roof for the 21-year-old going into his rookie season.

He's coming off a career-best campaign during his final season at the University of Michigan, during which the 6-foot-6, 265-pounder amassed a single-season program record 14 sacks. The year included a career-high three-sack game in Michigan's upset victory over Ohio State.

Hutchinson did everything he could to build up his status as the top prospect in the 2022 draft class, and he was just that, according to many pundits, for the majority of the pre-draft process. 

But, then April 28 rolled around, and with the No. 1 overall pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars opted to select fellow EDGE Travon Walker instead. It allowed Hutchinson to fall right into the laps of the Lions -- and delightfully so for Detroit general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell -- at No. 2. 

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Now, he's expected to "restore the roar" for a Lions franchise that won just three games a season ago. It's a pretty hefty ask for a first-year pro, but there's no denying that the talent is there for the potentially game-changing EDGE rusher.

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Pro Football Focus has gone so far as projecting Hutchinson to record 57.0 pressures, 9.4 sacks and 16.5 run stops in 2022, the site's best statistical projection for an EDGE defender from the '22 draft class. That would equate to a better season than the one produced last year by veteran Detroit EDGE Charles Harris, who logged a team-best 7.5 sacks. 

As PFF's Eric Eager explains regarding Hutchinson, 

“In 2021, Hutchinson placed in the 98th percentile in PFF pass-rushing grade among players who eventually played in the NFL, the 99th percentile in pass-rush grade on 'true pass rushes,' the 97th percentile in pass-rush grade on pass plays without play action, the 98th percentile in overall pass-rush win rate and the 99th percentile in run-defense grade.”

I'm not as high on the first-year pro, but I'm willing to predict the following numbers for Hutch: 7.5 sacks, 54 total pressures and 62 total tackles. 

If he produces the aforementioned numbers as a rookie, I think it's fair to say Detroit's front-office brass and fanbase would be pleased.