Hutchinson was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2021.
Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson appears to be one of the favorites to be selected No. 1 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft when the Jacksonville Jaguars go on the clock next week.
NFL analyst Brian Baldinger has been high on Hutchinson’s ability and explained to Fox News Digital in a recent interview what makes the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year the right choice for the downtrodden Jaguars, who have top choice in the draft for the second consecutive season.
“I just think it starts with his physical features. He’s over 6 feet and 6 inches. He’s really long. A little shorter arms than you would like to have, but he’s got elite foot quickness. When you’re 6-feet, 6 inches 260-plus pounds, and you can run a 4.15 short shuttle, I mean that’s what elite wide receivers and defensive backs run, and he does it at 250 pounds,” Baldinger said. “So, what it does is it really transfers to his game at Michigan, and then you look at three years of production. I announced the Big Ten Championship game against Iowa in Indianapolis this year, and he was the best player on the field. He was all over the place.”
Hutchinson led the Big Ten Conference with 14 sacks. He also had 62 total tackles and was third in the conference with 17 tackles for a loss.
Michigan finished 12-2 overall and made the College Football Playoff for the first time.
“Just look at his effort, the type of person that he is. He’s a culture changer. [When] you’re building a culture, you kinda want to start with a guy like Aidan Hutchinson. You know what you’re gonna get at practice. You know what you’re gonna get early in these games. He’s gonna give you value right away and he’s basically been injury-free. He’s just one of these guys … I’m not gonna say he’s rare but if you look at a Joey Bosa, like he kinda of reminds you a lot of Joey Bosa,” Baldinger added.
The Jaguars made a bunch of moves in the offseason, starting with hiring Super Bowl-winning coach Doug Pederson as their next head coach. Pederson replaced Darrell Bevell, who was named the interim head coach after the team fired Urban Meyer.
Additionally, the Jaguars signed cornerbacks Darious Williams and Xavier Crawford and pass-rusher Arden Key to help out on defense, while the team added Brandon Scherff to the offensive line and tight end Evan Engram and wide receiver Zay Jones to the offense.
Baldinger said the selection of Hutchinson could help change the direction of Jacksonville.
“I’m a believer in Doug Pederson. I’m in Philadelphia. I know Doug. I saw what he did taking the Eagles to a Super Bowl and take them to playoffs year in and year out. I look at a lot of changes [the Jaguars] have made. They did a lot in free agency. I think it’s already begun,” Baldinger said.
“There was a stretch there, five years, where players wanted out. Jalen Ramsey didn’t want to be here and on and on and on. And so, I think they’ve got a lot of young players that were drafted. Urban Meyer didn’t work out, obviously. But I think they got a lot of good, young players, Trevor Lawrence, and they bring in a brand-new sheriff who changes the way you practice and the expectations. They brought some of those type of guys in to go with what they had, and I think it’s changing for the better and I think it’ll show up on the field.”
The Jaguars were 3-14 last season and finished 28th in points allowed and 20th in yards allowed.
The team will be on the clock in Las Vegas on April 28.
Baldinger played in the NFL for 11 years with the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles between 1982 and 1993.
He’s been working with CoachTube, a platform that provides online sports coaching and training from former college and professional coaches and players, for the last few years. He has several coaching courses highlighting offensive line play in addition to wide receivers and tight ends.
He told Fox News Digital the feedback from his coaching courses has been good and believed the platform was “going to be around for a long time.” He said he really got into the idea during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We thought it was a great opportunity to really kind of teach the game of football via Zoom and take advantage of the people that were on Zoom all day. So, I started putting together videos position by position of a lot of Hall of Fame players and great players,” Baldinger said.
Baldinger said he takes a few players from each position and shows the techniques that made the players so great.
“It was a lot of fun putting it together. It was a lot of fun teaching it, and then it was a lot of fun just taking questions and answers at the end,” he said.