Sorry, Lions fans. The hometown kid may not be coming home after all. Heisman runner-up Aidan Hutchinson, who led Michigan to its first CFP appearance last fall, expects to be a Jaguar come April 28th at about 8 PM ET, basing that belief on their recent “interactions,” according to Thor Nystrom of NBC Sports.
Hutchinson had a private workout scheduled with the Jaguars last month but decided not to risk it after seeing Wolverines teammate David Ojabo suffer an Achilles injury at his Pro Day. Instead, the Jaguars flew him in for a visit on April 4th, meeting with coaches and touring the team’s facility.
The Jaguars, who own the top pick in the draft for the second year in a row, have also been linked to Georgia standout Travon Walker, whose stock has gone through the roof since his dominant Combine performance last month, clocking an outrageous 4.51 forty at 6’5”/272. While Walker’s athletic traits arguably give him more upside, Hutchinson is coming off an extraordinary season in Ann Arbor, leading the Big Ten with 14 sacks, two more than the previous school record shared by LaMar Woodley and David Bowens.
The Dearborn native would assuredly be the Lions’ top choice if available—Detroit needs all the pass-rushing help it can get after recording just 30 sacks last season (third-fewest). But even if Hutchinson goes first overall to Jacksonville, Detroit will have plenty of good options at No. 2, including Walker, Oregon prodigy Kayvon Thibodeaux, or, if the Lions really want to swing for the fences, Liberty dual threat Malik Willis. Of course, if the Lions would prefer to address quarterback later in the first round (32nd overall) or early in the second (34th), one of Desmond Ridder, Sam Howell or Matt Corrall should be there for the taking.
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