NFL Mock Draft 2022: Aidan Hutchinson’s draft projections and top consensus landing spots

Current draft projections have Aidan Hutchinson as the top defender, but is that really where we can expect him in most 2022 NFL Mock Drafts?

Lauded for his 2021 season, Aidan Hutchinson has seen his draft projections rocket since the start of last year. After a great 2019 season, Hutchinson exploded onto the scene in 2021 with the Michigan Wolverines. Widely seen as the potential top overall player in this NFL Draft class, what are Hutchinson’s current draft projections, and where does he land in the current 2022 NFL Mock Draft circuit?

NFL Mock Draft 2022: Aidan Hutchinson’s draft projections

As it stands right now, there’s no denying Hutchinson a top spot on his latest draft projections. After surpassing all measurement thresholds he needed at the NFL Combine, Hutchinson is primed to be one of, if not the first player taken in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Nowhere on any Pro Football Network 2022 NFL Mock Drafts will you find Hutchinson sliding past No. 4 overall — at least in the past week or so. Hutchinson is a favorite to land at either one of the top four spots as each of the teams selecting at the peak of the draft could use his services.

NFL Mock Draft 2022: PFN’s top consensus landing spots

Going through the latest PFN Mock Drafts for the 2022 NFL Draft finds a variety of landing spots for Hutchinson. PFN Analyst Ian Cummings sent Hutchinson to the Houston Texans with the third overall pick. “The top 10 seems like his floor. At third overall, the Texans might jump at the chance to add a potential blue-chip edge rusher with a hard-nosed style.”

PFN’s Lead NFL Analyst Dalton Miller shared a similar sentiment but had Hutchinson going to the New York Jets at pick No. 4/ “His agility and explosion at a prototypical size are difficult to pass up. His production speaks for itself.”

Finding Hutchinson first overall wasn’t a difficult task either, as PFN’s James Fragoza had Hutchinson No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Explaining that thought process, Fragoza discussed the thresholds Hutchinson surpassed at the Combine. “Hutchinson shook off any questions about his athleticism with a 4.74 40-yard dash and 6.73 three-cone drill at 6’7″ and 260 pounds.”

Doubling down with Hutchinson at No. 1 overall was PFN’s Oliver Hodgkinson. Pointing towards recent free agent signings and franchise moves, Hodgkinson explains his decision to peg Hutchinson at No. 1. “While I don’t believe that this should be the pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars in April, well-respected voices around the program indicate that recent free agency moves — the franchise-tagging of Cam Robinson and signing of Brandon Scherff — point towards Hutchinson being the Jaguars’ selection with the first overall pick.”

Where does Hutchinson land on other draft boards?

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. lists Hutchinson as his No. 1 overall prospect. Kiper credited his refined pass rushing as a reason for his top ranking. “He is advanced as a pass-rusher — he already has a few go-to moves — and is relentless on every snap.” Kiper’s colleague — Todd McShay — also lists Hutchinson as his No. 1 overall player.

McShay spoke about Hutchinson’s relentlessness as a reason for his ranking. “Hutchinson plays a powerful game and is truly relentless in pursuit. He also has fast eyes and locates the ball really well.”

Continuing the sentiment, both Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network and Dane Brugler of The Athletic have Hutchinson as their No. 1 overall player. Jeremiah stated, “as a pass rusher, he has a quick first step and a wide array of hand moves to generate pressures/sacks.”

Brugler set a different tone with his evaluation, however, before diving into what makes Hutchinson special. “It’s understandable why some might balk at the thought of Hutchinson going No. 1. He’s not Myles Garrett or Chase Young and probably wouldn’t have been a top-10 pick in last year’s draft.”

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.

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