Aidan Hutchinson from Detroit deserves some attention
#Aidan #Hutchinson #Detroit #deserves #attention Welcome to Alaska Green Light Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:
Where’s DROY’s love for Detroit’s Aidan Hutchinson? Image: Getty Images
Now, if you were going to place a bet on the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award, you’d be a fool to bet on anyone other than New York Jets cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. After Sports betting cents, the fourth overall pick has odds of -1200 to win the prize. That’s an implied 92.31 percent chance – practically a lock. The next closest competitor is Detroit Edge Rusher and second overall is Aidan Hutchinson at +800 odds or an 11.11 percent chance.
Don’t think too much about how these two numbers add up to more than 100 percent, because that’s how odds work. The fact of the matter is, despite a very solid season, Hutchinson is pretty much unconsidered for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Well, I find that ridiculous. While he may not deserve the award over Gardner, there’s plenty of reason to believe Hutchinson has a shot at winning, despite what Jets fans might try to convince you.
The case for Sauce Gardner
I’ll begin this Hutchinson Defense by offering the best argument for Gardner as DROY. Gardner is the highest rated cornerback in Focus on professional football, but if you’re more of a raw stats type, Gardner still stands head and shoulders above every other cornerback in the NFL this year. The best a cornerback can do is allow very few yards and force incompletions. Gardner leads the NFL in forced completions (19) and of all cornerbacks with at least 350 coverage snaps this year, Gardner ranks third in yards allowed (302).
Gardner has played 618 coverage snaps this season. The two players before him — Kansas City’s Trent McDuffie and New Orleans’ Alontae Taylor — only played 376 and 350 snaps, respectively. Essentially, from every starting corner in the league, Gardner is the leader in the two most important categories. Additionally, his presence was felt, as Gardner ranks eighth in the league for snaps per target (8.5), meaning quarterbacks have recognized how good he is and often refuse to direct his direction .
Why Aidan Hutchinson deserves attention
This last tidbit is one Gardner defense attorneys like to lean on when discussing Gardner’s influence, and yes, it’s impressive. However, Hutchinson could make a similar argument. After ESPN’s Seth Walder, Hutchinson is double-teamed at the second-highest rate in the NFL, behind only Cleveland’s Myles Garrett. As a freshman, teams struggle to ensure Hutchinson faces multiple offensive linemen. This is the pass-rushing equivalent of Gardner facing fewer targets as his reputation has risen.
One could argue that the lack of talent around Hutchinson on the Lions’ defensive line has made teams feel comfortable doubling down on Hutchinson more and that it’s less about his reputation and more about blocking efficiency. Again, I could make the same argument for Gardner. Perhaps teams aren’t throwing at Gardner because his teammates are underperforming in the Jets’ secondary school. Yes, I know DJ Reed and Michael Carter II are solid, but Alim McNeill and Isaiah Buggs were both solid inside pass rushers for Detroit and Hutchinson is still double teamed. Hell, Hutchinson isn’t even Detroit’s rookie leader in sacks. That title belongs to sixth-rounder James Houston, who has eight sacks in just six games. Much of that success can be attributed to Hutchinson’s presence, which opened up Houston lanes. If he played all season he might be the favorite for DROY, but unfortunately that’s not the case.
Pass rushing aside, Hutchinson was also a factor in the coverage. His three interceptions are the third most among rookies while he has at least two more 6.5 sacks than anyone. He can rush, he can fall behind. He’s a cover plan nightmare.
Additionally, Gardner didn’t have the iconic award-winning pieces that Hutchinson does. That Goal line DFL He’d hit the entire formation at Soldier Field in week 10 to make a dive stop right at the end of the first half…amazing. Earning three sacks in just his second career game to give the Lions their first win of the season? Remarkable. Gardner doesn’t have those pivotal moments, which is likely due to him playing a position that doesn’t offer as much action as an edge rusher. I’m not saying Gardner didn’t make big plays, he made a multitude of phenomenal touchdown-saving plays, but he didn’t make those plays in the biggest clutch moments. Its highlights haven’t received the viral attention that some of Hutchinson’s best pieces have.
Gardner undoubtedly deserves Defensive Rookie of the Year this season. I’m not trying to say he doesn’t deserve the hardware, but rather that I feel that unfortunately, Hutchinson’s phenomenal season has been overshadowed. Gardner’s incredible play threw the spotlight on all rookie cornerbacks, and that’s got Seattle’s Tariq Woolen the well-deserved attention he probably would have gotten otherwise, but it’s also diverted the attention of other well-deserved rookies like Hutchinson. If I got a vote for DROY, I’d vote for Gardner, but that doesn’t mean Gardner was hands down the best defensive rookie this season. There is a case for Hutch, and I’m just trying to point it out.