There has been a ton of debate these last few months amount who the best edge rusher in the class is. Is it the athletic freak with unreal upside in Kayvon Thibodeaux or is it the uber-productive pass rusher with a veteran polish in Aidan Hutchinson? They both make a strong case to potentially be the first player off the board and this is the case for Aidan Hutchinson.
Position: 4-3 Defensive End
Weight: 260 lbs
- Very few edge rushers that have been drafted in recent years have had the variety of pass rush moves that Aidan Hutchinson possesses. The former Michigan Wolverine shows a great amount of power and finesse in his pursuit of the quarterback and has extremely active hands. His pass-rush polish is elite and he’s a ten sack threat as soon as he steps on the field.
- As a run defender, Hutchinson plays with the same passion he rushes the passer with. He is an excellent gap penetrator thanks to his heavy hands and flexibility. He is also an exceptionally smart run defender and sometimes he even creates stunts or gaps on the fly for his teammates to make the play.
- You’d be hard-pressed to find a player in this draft with better intangibles or leadership skills. Michigan’s coaches and players couldn’t stop talking about how important Aidan Hutchinson’s locker room presence was this past season. Whatever team takes him is getting an extremely strong leader on and off the field.
- I would be lying if I said there was a real issue with Aidan Hutchinson’s game. However, there is a fair question that many draft analysts are asking. How high is his ceiling? Hutchinson is a polished pass rusher and run defender and really came on this past season but he isn’t freaky athletic like Kayvon Thibodeaux. It makes you wonder how much better he can actually get. Personally, I think he’s already a ten-sack defensive end which is still worth a top-three pick considering today’s passing heavy NFL. Perhaps he is close to topping out but even then, he is worth his draft value
Aidan Hutchinson is an NFL-ready pass rusher and run defender and brings a veteran brand of leadership to a locker room. Perhaps he is only fit for a 4-3 scheme but any team that takes him is getting a great edge defender while carrying less risk and development than a player like Kayvon Thibodeaux. This four-year player for Michigan is one heck of a prospect and deserves every last bit of his top three draft projection.
Team Fits: Jaguars, Lions, Texans, Jets
Draft Projection: Top five pick
Player Comparison: Nick Bosa