The reason why the Lions were so excited is that they not only believe Hutchinson can disrupt opposing offenses but because he is a great fit with what they are trying to do in terms of building a culture.
But according to one Lions coach, Hutchinson is a better athlete than he originally thought heading into the NFL Draft.
Lions coach says Aidan Hutchinson is a better athlete than he thought
In fact, Wash believes Hutchinson is already proving to be a better athlete than he thought he would be.
“Obviously, we’re very excited to have him, but I think he’s a better athlete than I thought he was,” Lions defensive line coach Todd Wash said Monday. “(Head coach) Dan (Campbell) and I and even (general manager) Brad (Holmes), we’ve talked about it. I said he’s a better athlete than I thought he was off tape. There's kind of a unique way he can lean and bend that we didn’t necessarily always see on tape, but out here you really see it, and versus good competition. So we’re excited about where he’s at.”
Wash noted that Hutchinson is “very intelligent” and that he is excited to see how it all translates to the field once the pads are on at training camp.
“He’s very, very intelligent,” Wash said. “This morning we played defensive jeopardy basically and he was answering all different questions from even different positions, where you’re like, ‘Damn, that’s good stuff.' So we’re excited and once we get pads on then I think we’re going to see even more out of it.”
“I think he just needs to come out each and every day and get better,” Wash said. “I know that’s a cliché every coaches say, but we got high expectations for him but I think he has more expectations for himself than we probably do, so we expect a solid player and a guy that’s going to help us win football games.”
Wash added that Aidan Hutchinson's pass-rushing abilities remind him of Yannick Ngakoue during his rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wash was the Jaguars defensive coordinator at that time and Ngakoue shined during that time.
“We took (Ngakoue) later in the draft, but he led college in sacks his senior year,” Wash said. “And when he came in, he just had “it’ as a pass rusher and Hutch has ‘it’ as a pass rusher, and he still has enough play strength to play a lot of different spots up front and he’s intelligent where he can play a lot of different fronts. So when it comes to that, yeah, he has ‘it' as a pass rusher.”
Lions defensive line coach Todd Wash said Aidan Hutchinson is "everything as advertised."
“We got a better player than I thought we were gonna get,” Wash said. "He has 'IT' as a pass-rusher." pic.twitter.com/dNB3XvheQ1
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) June 14, 2022