When the Detroit Lions selected Aidan Hutchinson out of the University of Michigan with the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL draft, the hope was that he would come in and immediately make an impact on a defense that was not able to get to the passer in 2021.
During training camp, Hutchinson impressed just about everybody he came in contact with and it seemed like he would be a rookie who dominates right from the get-go.
But in his first game as a professional, Hutchinson struggled against the Philadelphia Eagles as he only picked up one tackle in the game and was not able to put much pressure at all on the quarterback.
Following the game, Eagles All-Pro Center, Jason Kelce had some pretty high praise for Hutchinson.
“He's like a more athletic, more nimble Jared Allen type player,” Kelce said.
“He has some really, really good stutter bull (rush), long arms, gets extended, can attack you inside, outside or right down the middle and makes it all kind of look the same,” said Jason Kelce. “Speed to power, they lined him up a couple times in this overload set where he’s clearly outside the tackle, coming down with a full head of steam. He’s going to be a really, really good player.”
Aidan Hutchinson was not the only Detroit Lions rookie to impress Jason Kelce
But Aidan Hutchinson was not the only Detroit Lions rookie to impress Jason Kelce as LB Malcolm Rodriguez also made a big impression on him as he hip-tossed Kelce to the ground like he was a rag doll.
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) September 14, 2022
“I thought I had him,” Kelce said. “I was driving him in the end zone and right at the last second — [insert Karate sound] — gave me a nice Judo hip toss. Did not see it coming. It was impressive nonetheless, a quick twist of the hips. He’s a good player. He made a better move on me on a draw play earlier in the game where he made a tackle on Jalen Hurts. That kid’s got a really bright future. He’s been a star of the Hard Knocks show, seems like he’s got a great mentality.”
Aidan Hutchinson had a tough first game but you can bet your bottom dollar that will learn from it and get better.