Aidan Hutchinson only managed one tackle in his first game as a pro, but he’s exploded for three sacks in one half of his team’s Week 2 matchup.
The Lions drafted Aidan Hutchinson with the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft to rush the passer for years to come. His Week 1 effort only yielded one tackle which left Detroit fans wanting more. Fortunately, his Week 2 effort proved to be much more memorable.
Hutchinson helped his Lions defense dominate the Commanders offense to the tune of three sacks in the first half. Carson Wentz is a quarterback who can be guilty of holding the ball too long but that’s not what happened in this game. Hutchinson absolutely dominated anyone Washington deployed to try to keep him at bay.
Lions: Aiden Hutchinson makes Carson Wentz regret coming into work
In this sack early in the first quarter, Hutchinson displays his motor as he prevents Wentz from being able to climb the pocket. His work rate is one reason why Detroit spent a high pick on him despite his lack of overwhelming athletic traits.
Hutchinson’s second sack of the day is a better illustration of what makes him so hard to block. He’s got an exceptional ability to fire off the edge and bother opposing tackles with his combination of quickness and strength. Wentz has no chance to avoid the former Michigan star once his eyes are forced to focus on the pass rusher rather than receivers down the field.
Credit the Lions’ coaching staff for helping Hutchinson succeed with their scheme on his third sack. They utilize a pretty conventional stunt to loop their rookie edge rusher to the interior to rush the passer. In the long run, Lions fans should expect to see a lot of Hutchinson shifting inside on obvious passing downs. He’s got enough power to hold up against opposing guards and centers. More importantly, his quickness could prove to be a massive advantage against slow-footed blockers on the interior.
Hutchinson may not have the highest ceiling of any young edge rusher in the NFL, but the Lions know he’ll be productive. Getting three sacks in a half is just a taste of what the talented rookie can do.