Last year, the Detroit Lions finished the season with a 9-8 record, one of the biggest surprises of the 2023 NFL season.
They did so with one of the league’s most potent offenses and a defense that faced their fair share of injuries and struggles.
As the Lions strive for continued growth in 2023, their coaching staff will rely on a few key playmakers on the defensive side of the ball.
One of those playmakers is Aidan Hutchinson, who will only be entering his second season.
However, due to Hutchinson’s performances during his rookie campaign, the team has high hopes for him moving forward.
In a recent conversation with the Detroit Free Press, Lions assistant coach John Fox detailed these expectations.
“He’s an outstanding prospect, an outstanding player, and look for a lot of improvement,” Fox said.
To see more, here are a few of Hutchinson’s many highlights from his rookie year.
Aidan Hutchinson makes case for DROY – Full 2022-2023 rookie season highlights for Detroit Lions superstar DE
📽️ https://t.co/OxZ36Lp55j watch full video here#NFLFantasy #NFLFootball #NFL #sauce #defense #defensive #rookie #year #michigan #wolverines #aiden #dan #campbell pic.twitter.com/ylFgH0TsfW
— NFL Study (@NFLStudy) January 9, 2023
Last year, Hutchinson had 52 total tackles, 9.5 sacks, and three interceptions.
Had Sauce Gardner not been in the same draft class, Hutchinson would have likely won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2022.
What’s next for Hutchinson and the Lions, especially after his massive rookie campaign?
The NFL Draft is right around the corner, and the Lions hold two first-round picks and two second-round picks.
With any luck, they will be able to find more gems like Hutchinson, building a roster that can compete for the NFC North.
Being that Aaron Rodgers is likely out of the division, their path has gotten significantly more favorable.NEXT: Jeff Okudah Joins A Small Active Club Of Failed Top Picks