Aidan Hutchinson was an unstoppable force this past weekend
If you were to ask Western Michigan University who the most dominant player on the Michigan Wolverines was this past weekend on the football field, they would more than likely say Aidan Hutchinson. The Wolverines star defensive end is the latest standout product from a program with a deep history of producing top defensive talent.
6'6 260+lb. Aidan Hutchinson showing why he was featured heavily on the 'freaks' list… + athleticism at that size
Had a few quick wins yesterday that forced the ball out – but none bigger than the strip sack here⬇️ pic.twitter.com/YpQhQZ9FIH
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) September 5, 2021
Western Michigan wouldn’t be the only one to say it, as Pro Football Focus deemed the Michigan native the top-tier edge defender amongst the power five conferences. With a combination of size and talent, Aidan is a force to be reckoned with no matter who the opponent is. There are quite a few reasons why he will be a top prospect in the 2022 NFL draft.
What are Hutchinson’s strengths?
When it comes to play strength, few in the collegiate landscape can match Hutchinson’s ability. As a run defender at the point of attack, he wreaks havoc consistently.
Aidan Hutchinson (97) appreciation tweet. pic.twitter.com/lHuJOljGGQ
— Michigan Football Breakdowns (@uofmcoachesroom) October 25, 2020
As a six-foot-six, 265-pounder, Hutchinson can disrupt plays using his size and length as a pass rusher as well.
Aidan Hutchinson vs Wirfs 👀 pic.twitter.com/mG7l8Bjc3y
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) August 30, 2021
Above all, he is a powerful player that can lineup at multiple positions along the defensive line. With both his hand in the dirt and standing, he is an edge defender that makes his presence felt if left unaccounted. Although there is real potential, a few areas need improvement before next year’s draft.
What are Hutchinson’s red flags and expectations for this season?
First and foremost, an area of concern for many with Hutchinson is his health. Last season (2020), he only participated in three games before suffering a season-ending leg fracture. While it is an anomaly, it remains to be seen if that injury provides him with any complications moving forward. In addition to health, the Wolverine must finish more in terms of a pass rusher. Meaning, despite his lack of north/south athleticism, he must find a way to sack the quarterback. This isn’t to say that he is incapable of doing that; it is to say that he possesses the tools to be a more consistent pass rusher. In conclusion, his effort and will to succeed are second to none. Expect him to round out his pass rush repertoire and be one of the top defenders selected next year.
*Top Photo: Lon Horwedel Photography