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Thibodeaux Expected to Produce More Than Hutchinson in 2022

Detroit Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson ranks behind Kayvon Thibodeaux in latest rookie ranking.

One of the storylines to watch throughout the course of the 2022 NFL season will be the production of rookies near the top of the draft. 

The Detroit Lions chose to pass on defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux in favor of Aidan Hutchinson, the hometown favorite. 

While Hutchinson appears to be the better fit for Detroit and its newly established culture, many still believe Detroit missed out on the better player. 

In a recent CBS Sports ranking of the top rookie EDGE rushers, Hutchinson came in at No. 2 behind Thibodeaux, based on the expectation of their production this upcoming season.  

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"In Detroit, Hutchinson will assume alpha rusher duties immediately, which I usually don't love for a first-year pro at that position. But he's ready," Chris Trapasso writes. "The hand work, the size, the bend. It's all there. Plus, it's not as if Detroit's roster is devoid of pass-rush talent. Former first-round Charles Harris is back after a resurgent season in 2021, and the Okwara brothers are unique types on the outside as well. Plus third-round pick Joshua Paschal plays with his hair on fire, and there's plenty of youthful meat on the interior to draw attention inside."

According to many draft analysts, Thibodeaux doesn't feature as many pass-rush moves as Detroit's talented rookie, but features more explosiveness. 

"Thibodeaux gave me Danielle Hunter vibes on film. Similar size, length, incendiary burst, stunning speed-to-power conversion, occasional counter move -- scary similar," Trappaso believes. "On a team with second-year pro Azeez Ojulari -- who's pretty explosive in his own right -- flashing around the opposite corner and the likes of Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence inside, Thibodeaux is the Ferrari ready to erupt out of the garage."