When the Lions drafted Aidan Hutchinson at No. 2 overall in the spring, they did it thinking he could step in and make an immediate impact.
It appears Hutchinson is on track to do so. But coaches and players have praised Hutchinson for not taking anything for granted in his first offseason program and training camp.
Head coach Dan Campbell said recently that Hutchinson is working to gain the respect of his teammates.
“He’s not coming in here being loud and talking a bunch of trash or doing anything like that,” Campbell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “He knows he’s got to earn his right. Just cause he was a first-round pick doesn’t mean that he’s automatically got the respect of everybody in there. He’s got to earn that, and he understands it. So he goes out there and he just works his ass off in practice, and then in meetings he keeps his mouth shut until he’s asked a question, and so that’s exactly what you want in a rookie, he’s going to earn their respect.”
And defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn noted that Hutchinson is putting himself in a position to make an impact once games start, even though there are likely to be some mistakes along the way.
“There’s some times where he will do his own thing, but most good players do,” Glenn said. “And they make plays and they do that. The thing that he has to make sure he manages is, man, this is the NFL so they’re going to watch you, they’re going to look at you on tape and see when you try to go out there and make those plays and do things outside of the defense, and we just got to reel him back in. But that’s OK. We’re going to make sure he’s going to be good.”
Hutchinson became a highly decorated defensive lineman last year after recording 14.0 sacks for Michigan. If the Lions are going to take a significant step forward in Campbell’s second year as head coach, Hutchinson is likely going to have to be a big factor for them defensively.