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Hutchinson excited to get back to what he does best: Playing football

Head coach Dan Campbell made the comment Saturday before rookie minicamp practice that he wasn't looking for players he considers "floaters" on the roster.

"Floaters are a guy who gets here and he's just kind of, there he goes, he's just in the open ocean," Campbell said.

Campbell and the Lions are looking for highly competitive players who love ball. Campbell wants players who want to make the most of their opportunity and want to be great.

Campbell said a perfect example of that kind of player is No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson.

"As you guys all know, we couldn't get the call in fast enough once we knew (Jacksonville) didn't take Aidan," Campbell said Saturday. "It worked out great; it was perfect. He's a perfect fit for us. I mean, he really is everything that we're about and he matches us perfectly and I've said this before, but it just so happened to be that he was in the backyard.

"It wasn't because of that, but that's icing on the cake there, that he was right down the road. I just feel like it was meant to be. He belongs here and when you're going to pick guys, particularly that high, they better fit everything that you're about, and he does that."

The Lions want to be a gritty football team. Hutchinson said he likes that mantra and it fits with his play style and personality.

Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and defensive line coach Todd Wash lined Hutchinson up on both edges during Saturday's open rookie minicamp practice, and his explosiveness and quick first step stood out.

For Hutchinson, it was just great to be back between the lines and playing football again this weekend. The pre-draft process can be challenging between all the workouts, interviews, flights and team visits. He is excited to be focusing on football again.

"It's great. This is what I do," he said. "At the end of the day, all that talk, I hate the talk. There's been a lot of months of talking, lot of rah rah, but now we're out here getting the work in, which is what I do."

View photos from Day 1 of Detroit Lions rookie minicamp on Friday May 13, 2022 in Allen Park, Mich.

Hutchinson said it was a little surreal putting on a Lions 97 jersey Friday and walking out on the practice field for the first time. He's quickly adjusting and looking forward to being part of a group he's hoping can turn things around and make the Lions consistent winners.

"I definitely feel inspired to get this team going again," Hutchinson said. "But again, it's not just me. It's going to be a group effort. It's going to take all the guys on this team to get this team back to winning. If I can be a piece of that, I'd love to.

"I think we definitely have the right people in place to start winning some ball games. It's a great vibe here right now. I can't wait until all the vets get here and we all start getting after it as a team."

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