Leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft, Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan’s Heisman Trophy finalist, was widely predicted to be the top pick. However, draft day took an unexpected turn. The Jacksonville Jaguars, holding the No. 1 pick, surprised many by selecting Georgia’s Travon Walker. This twist opened the door for the Detroit Lions to select Hutchinson as the second overall pick.

In a twist of fate, the Jaguars and Lions are currently engaged in joint practices at the Lions’ training facility, culminating in a preseason game on Saturday. In an industry where players often use draft snubs as motivation, Hutchinson stands out for his positive outlook. Despite being overlooked by the Jaguars, he holds no grudges.

Does he resent the NFL team that chose not to draft him? Hutchinson’s response, shared on Wednesday and reported by mlive.com, is clear: “Not at all. I am content where I am. Incredibly grateful. Everything fell into place as it should have. The timing seemed divine, orchestrating the unfolding events.”

Aidan Hutchinson’s Detroit Journey: From Aspiration to Accomplishment

While Walker might have secured a slightly higher rookie contract, Hutchinson revealed this week that he secretly aspired to join the home-state Lions as the second overall pick. He candidly expressed, “Throughout the draft process, I held onto the hope of joining their ranks. It was my heartfelt desire.”

Hutchinson’s roots run deep in Detroit. Having attended Divine Child High School, located in close proximity to the Lions’ training facility, he proceeded to excel at the University of Michigan. His remarkable final college season catapulted him to second place in Heisman Trophy voting, and his contributions played a significant role in securing a spot in the College Football Playoffs.

Looking at the bigger picture, the Lions have ample reasons to celebrate their 2022 draft outcome. Hutchinson’s rookie season was nothing short of stellar, with an impressive tally of 9.5 sacks, three interceptions, and two fumble recoveries. This noteworthy performance secured him a second place in the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year race, right behind Jets’ Sauce Gardner.