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Aidan Hutchinson named PFF’s Defensive Player of the Week

The defensive leader for the Wolverines has been a game-changer this year.

Michigan v Wisconsin Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

After another strong showing this past weekend, Michigan Wolverine senior defensive end Aidan Hutchinson was named Pro Football Focus’ Defensive Player of the Week.

If you only saw the box score after the game, you wouldn’t think Hutchinson would be as praised by PFF as he is this week — he only put up three tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss and one quarterback hit. But if you watched closely, you’d see he was dominating every Wisconsin Badger who tried to block him.

“Hutchinson won on 26.3% of his pass-rush reps and produced a positive grade against the run on over a quarter of his snaps in run defense,” according to PFF. “He may not have notched a sack, but he played a part in several of the six sacks Michigan notched on the day.”

The senior defender entered this week’s matchup against Wisconsin as PFF’s highest-graded edge defender in all of the Power Five, and will most certainly keep that accolade. PFF also calls him “the best player in the country right now” and is now all the way to up to No. 5 on the PFF Big Board thanks to his efforts this season so far.

If Hutchinson continues to put up monster performances, he may be in contention for the top overall defensive player picked in the 2022 NFL Draft. In Mel Kiper’s latest 2022 NFL Draft rankings, he has Hutchinson No. 5 overall, which preseason would have been thought of as insanity. Now, it’s starting to become a very real possibility.

Hutchinson is now up to 18 tackles, six tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, three quarterback hits and one forced fumble through five games in the 2021 season.