Aidan Hutchinson may have made too strong of a first impression in the NFL. After the Detroit Lions’ rookie defensive end recorded three sacks in Week 2, he’s been mostly double-teamed by opponents. But the former University of Michigan All-American is still among the favorites to win the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Hutchinson’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds are as high as +850 at Caesars Michigan Sportsbook. You can find it priced at +800 at most other Michigan sports betting apps. He ranks third behind New York Jets CB Ahmad Gardner and Seattle Seahawks CB Tariq Wooten.
Hutchinson has six sacks and 21 solo tackles through 12 NFL games. The No. 2 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft has proven he belongs in the pros, showing his speed on the edge and the strength to win the battles against linemen who often outweigh him.
The man selected ahead of Hutchinson, linebacker Travon Walker, has not as of yet been as impactful for the Jaguars, who could have taken the former Wolverine. Last week, Hutchinson poked at Jacksonville prior to Detroit’s game against the Jags.
“I guess my arms were just not quite long enough,” Hutchinson told reporters last week. “We’ll see if that inch or couple inches was the difference.”
Walker, the Jags’ pick, is listed at +8000 to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, according to FanDuel.
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Favorites to Win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year
The top sportsbooks in Michigan see Hutchinson’s odds this way for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award:
Here are the NFL rookies with the best odds to win the award, according to DraftKings Michigan:
- Ahmad Gardner (Jets, CB): -500
- Tariq Woolen (Seahawks, CB): +450
- Aidan Hutchinson (Lions, DE): +800
- Jack Jones (Patriots, CB): +4000
- Kayvon Thibodeaux (Giants, LB): +5000
- Kyle Hamilton (Ravens, S): +6500
- Jaquan Brisker (Bears, S): +6500
- Travon Walker (Jaguars, LB): +8000
- Roger McCreary (Titans, CB): +8000
- Sam Williams (Cowboys, DE): +8000
- George Karlaftis (Chiefs, DE): +8000
- Coby Bryant (Seahawks, CB): +8000
Gardner, known as “Sauce,” has the best odds for Defensive Rookie of the Year for good reason. He leads the NFL in passes defended with 15, and thus far through 12 NFL games, the rookie corner has yet to allow a touchdown. Some observers, including Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, are suggesting that Gardner is already the best cover corner in the league.
But if there’s any position from which a rookie can make a late-season run at the Rookie of the Year Award, it’s defensive end, where Hutchinson could pile on sacks and QB hits in a hurry. A few impact games could vault Hutch’s name into the mix for the honor. The Lions have won four of their last five, and are maturing on the defensive side of the ball.
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These Lions won Defensive Rookie of the Year
Three former Detroit Lions won the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, which was established before the 1967 season.
Lem Barney, 1967
Barney picked off the very first pass thrown in his direction in the NFL, in Week 1 in 1967 against the Packers. Famed quarterback Bart Starr tossed a pass intended for flanker Carroll Dale, but Barney, a former All-American corner, jumped the route and took the ball 24 yards the other way for a touchdown. Talk about making a good first impression! Barney was an immediate force in the league. He picked off six passes in his first four NFL games, scoring two TDs. In 1992 Barney was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Al “Bubba” Baker, 1978
Michiganders old enough to remember “The Silver Rush” defensive line have fond memories of that big lug, Bubba Baker, who was simultaneously fearsome and folksy. Baker was drafted in the second round by Detroit out of Colorado State. He was 6-6 and 265 pounds, which in any era is HUGE, but in the late 1970s, Bubba was like a man playing with boys. In his first few games at the pro level, Baker treated O-linemen like rag dolls. In that era, they didn’t keep track of sacks all that well. In fact, it wasn’t even an official stat. Everyone knew Baker was impactful, and he won the NFL Rookie Defensive Player of the Year honor, but it took decades for his true greatness to be realized. After painstaking video research 43 years later, Baker was credited with an amazing 23 sacks in the 1978 season, the most in NFL history. The league has not officially acknowledged the record, but Lions fans, and research experts, know who the real Sack King is Bubba!
Ndamukong Suh, 2010
Like Hutchinson, Suh was the No. 2 pick in his NFL Draft. A ferocious interior defensive lineman, Suh recorded 10 sacks as a rookie and quickly became one of the most feared players in the league. He’s been a Pro Bowler five times.
AP Photo/Duane Burleson