LOS ANGELES – Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson was one of the big catalysts behind the Michigan Wolverines' turnaround this past season.
If Hutchinson gets a chance to join the Lions with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, he told detroitlions.com Wednesday on Radio Row he'd love to be a part of a similar turnaround in Detroit.
"I think I did it at Michigan and I think it's something I can do at the next level as well," Hutchinson said of being a player that could potentially help accelerate Detroit's rebuild. "It would mean a lot. All my friends back home are big Lions fans and they've been enduring the pain of all the losses in the previous years, so it would definitely be awesome to do that."
It's no secret the Lions will be on the lookout this offseason for some pass-rushing help on the edge. Detroit's 30 sacks this past season were the third fewest in the NFL.
Hutchinson had a breakout 2021 season for the Wolverines, setting the school's single-season record for sacks with 14.0. He's got position versatility at 6-foot-6, 265 pounds, and also notched 62 tackles (36 solo) and 16.5 tackles for loss.
View photos from DLA Field Trip to the Charles H. Wright Museum.
Lions general manager Brad Holmes said he and his staff are in a much better place this offseason in their prospect evaluation with a year under their belts. They've no-doubt done their homework on Hutchinson, with work still to do at the NFL Scouting Combine in a couple weeks and then Michigan's Pro Day in Ann Arbor.
Hutchinson was a consensus All-American and runner up for the Heisman Trophy, helping Michigan to the College Football Playoff Semifinal for the first time in school history.
Hutchinson admitted there would be a lot of happy people in his inner circle if Detroit was the place he landed in April's draft.
"It's definitely got some perks," said Hutchinson, who was at Radio Row partnering with Autotrader. "Staying close to home and I'd be really close to my family and stuff like that, so that would be really cool. If the Lions did take me and we start winning some games, I think that would be really exciting."