Name: Aidan Hutchinson
Weight: 269 lbs.
High school: Dearborn (MI) Divine Child
Position: Defensive end
Jersey number: #97
Last year: I ranked Hutchinson #3 and said he would be a starting defensive end with 50 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks (LINK). He made 68 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 6 pass breakups, and 4 quarterback hurries.
TTB Rating: 88
There's been talk on the blog over the years about comparing Aidan Hutchinson to Rashan Gary, so here are the sophomore numbers for each:
Player A: 65 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 1 FF, 7 QB hurries
Player B: 68 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 2 FF, 6 PBU, 4 QB hurries
If you were paying attention up above, you know that Player B is Hutchinson in 2019, playing with Kwity Paye at the opposite end and nobody noteworthy at defensive tackle. Player A is, of course, Rashan Gary in 2017 with Chase Winovich on the other side, plus Maurice Hurst, Jr. at nose tackle and future first round pick Devin Bush, Jr. at middle linebacker.
This is not to say that Hutchinson is better than Gary or will even be a first round pick, but it does show that Hutchinson is producing just as well as Gary, despite lesser surrounding talent.
This season Hutchinson and Paye will be of utmost importance with Michigan's cornerback situation. Lavert Hill's graduation and Ambry Thomas's opting out of the 2020 season have left the Wolverines scrambling to find consistency, which has necessitated moving rotational safety Sammy Faustin to corner for depth. Hutchinson is both a run-stopper and a solid pass rusher, and his knack for knocking down passes at 6'6" (6 in 2019) is sometimes forgotten. Michigan needs to be great up front to make up for their inexperience on the back end.
Prediction: Starting strongside end
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