The two players considered the number one and two options for the Detroit Lions’ first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft will face each other this weekend. Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeau both went in the top five picks, but Hutchinson is who the Lions captured as one of their own.
Leading up to the draft, it seemed as though Hutchinson would go number one and the Lions would get Thibodeaux with the second pick, and everyone was happy. Fans, analysts, and journalists all claimed they would be content with either player. When Travon Walker went number one overall, the Lions were able to pick up Hutchinson with the number two pick, and Thibodeaux fell to the fifth overall pick.
Seeing how both Hutchinson and Thibodeaux have played so far this season, I don’t think that “happy” is what Lions fans would be if they ended up with Thibodeaux. The Lions organization has said several times, “We got the right guy.”
By the Numbers
Aidan Hutchinson has significantly outperformed Kayvon Thibodeaux so far in their NFL careers. Hutchinson has recorded 28 total tackles including four TFLs for 27 yards, 5.5 sacks for 31.5 yards, 10 quarterback hits, and an interception. Thibodeaux, on the other hand, has just 18 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.
Hutchinson became the fourth-youngest player in the NFL to produce three sacks in a single game during their Week 2 matchup with the Washington Commanders. He also has the most pressures by a rookie this season with 28, while Thibodeaux comes in at fifth with 18.
The entire coaching staff speaks very highly of Hutchinson. Head Coach Dan Campbell spoke earlier this week on the rookie’s progress so far this season.
“I would say he’s coming along nicely. Every week he gets a little bit better, and he makes a few more plays. He learns pretty quickly. Look, there’s still things that happened to him, but he doesn’t make those same mistakes twice, which is what you’re looking for. And one of the things that we appreciate about him, not only is he growing, but he is an asset in the run game and the pass game. He’s all encompassing. I mean he plays with a high motor, he plays with technique, he’s relentless.”
Looking into the Week 11 Matchup
The Detroit Lions will face the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. It’s the first time these rookies will play each other. Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson spoke earlier this week on the challenges Thibodeaux brings to the Lions’ offense.
“I see a dynamic young player right now that’s getting better every week. You see the traits that twitch as a pass rusher right now where he’s going to be a handle as he continues to get reps and experience – and really, I mean he’s a freak athletically, so you’ve just got to – we’ve got to be aware of where he’s at. And then, it’s not just him because he can feed off of those our guys upfront. They have a lot of really good players on their defensive line that help create one-on-one situations for him right now and he’s reaping some benefit that way.”
Kick off for Sunday is set for 1pm ET.
Maddy Miller – Detroit Lions Beat Reporter
On Twitter: @madelynvmillerr
Lions defense more impressive in victory over the Bears
Detroit Lions Week 5 Player Spotlight: Aidan Hutchinson
Does Kayvon Thibodeaux fit ‘Detroit Culture’ better than Aidan Hutchinson?
Lions D-Line came into its own