The NFL Draft is just three weeks away — several top prospects in the collegiate ranks will have their lifelong dreams fulfilled after hearing their names called.
Everyone and their mother knows one of the top players on every Big Board is former Michigan Wolverines defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. Let’s take a look at where the experts are marking him and other former Wolverines ahead of Draft Day.
“Best player available. Big need. Perfect match. Jacksonville tied for the fifth-fewest sacks in 2021 (32), and its 27.8% pressure rate ranked No. 20 in the NFL. Hutchinson would instantly provide the Jaguars with a relentless, explosive disrupter on the edge opposite Josh Allen...I just don’t see them passing on Hutchinson’s ability to be a tone-setter on defense.”
“Hutchinson had a consistently dominant season on the way to finishing as the runner-up in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. He had 14 sacks, 19 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. He finished fifth in the country in pressure rate (16.5%). He is advanced as a pass-rusher — he already has a few go-to moves — and is relentless on every snap. Hutchinson dominated Ohio State at the end of the regular season, picking up three sacks.”
“Hutchinson is a terrific talent, and folks inside Michigan rave about his character and commitment. He will make the Jaguars better and should be a high-level pro for the next decade. Jacksonville might be tempted by the upside of Georgia edge rusher Travon Walker.
“Hutchinson (14 sacks in 2021) could cause problems for rival quarterbacks. His change of direction for someone 6-foot-6, 260 pounds is remarkable. He clocked a 4.15 shuttle time, fifth-fastest of anyone at the NFL Scouting Combine this year, and a 6.73 3-cone, sixth-best in Indianapolis.”
“All signs point to Hutchinson as the sensible selection. Edge rusher was one of the few areas that went unaddressed in the team’s spending spree, and setting the tone with a formidable running mate for Josh Allen, one of the team’s few building blocks, should be a priority. Hutchinson’s well-rounded athleticism and unwavering approach set him apart from his peers. Even if he doesn’t reach the heights of past top-five pass rushers, Hutchinson still looks like the kind of stable, high-end starter who could help launch a new era in Jacksonville.”
“The Lions would love this scenario, getting a local kid and filling a need. Hutchinson to the Lions is a perfect pick for both sides.”
“Hutchinson regularly works through half-man. Moreover, the Michigan native uses head fakes, body fakes, hand moves, agility and timing to force whiffed blocks. He precedes his inside rushes with a rocker step and clean hands to penetrate. Against the run, Hutchinson exercises proper gap integrity”
Mel Kiper Jr: No. 13 overall prospect
“Hill is an intriguing prospect who has risen since the combine because of his speed and versatility. He ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash in Indy, one of the fastest times for a safety in recent years. He played mostly as a nickelback for the Wolverines last season and could end up as a slot corner for his NFL team. The former five-star high school recruit is a playmaker (two picks last season) who tackles well and is a good blitzer. Hill has the positional flex of being a deep safety or matchup corner.”
Bruce Feldman: No. 29 overall to KC
“The Chiefs can upgrade their secondary with the versatile Wolverine, who gets picked ahead of Booth and Elam. Hill was overshadowed by Hutchinson, but he was also a key piece in Michigan’s breakthrough season. The two-time Academic All-Big Ten pick finished second on the team in tackles with 69 and elevated what had been a shaky secondary. The 6-foot, 191-pound Oklahoma native clocked a 4.38 40 and the second-quickest shuttle time of anyone at the combine, 4.06, and he also had the second-best 3-cone time, 6.57 seconds.”
Todd McShay: No. 34 overall to DET (2nd Round)
“Hill probably belongs in the first round, but the Lions get lucky with the smooth, speedy safety on Day 2. He reminds me a bit of Budda Baker and would be an upgrade on the back end of the Lions’ defense. Detroit allowed 70 plays for 20-plus yards last season (sixth-most), but Hill has the range to limit those big plays.”
Mel Kiper Jr: No. 25 overall prospect
“Ojabo has dropped down the board because of a crushing Achilles injury suffered at his pro day in mid-March. He might fall all the way into Round 2 now. He has flashed advanced pass-rush moves — check out this spin on the right tackle for a strip sack against Indiana — and his physical traits pop on tape. While Ojabo needs to work on his all-around game, there’s a lot to like. Good teams that don’t have immediate needs should target him late on Day 1.”
Todd McShay: No. 51 overall to PHI (2nd Round)
“The Eagles traded one of their three first-rounders, but they ended up with a first-round talent in Round 2 anyway. He has a lot of upside, and his speed and suddenness cause offensive tackles a lot of issues. If the Eagles can wait out his recovery, this could end up a huge win.”
Pete Prisco: Insider Notes (Potential 1st Rounder?)
“Despite an Achilles injury suffered at his pro day, Michigan edge prospect David Ojabo remains likely to hear his name called in the first round from what I gather. A strong team picking in the back of that round will want the fifth-year option on him, knowing 2022 will likely be a redshirt rehab year. Too much potential to let fall to Day 2.”