Aidan Hutchinson comments about the Jaguars not drafting him far from controversial

• The Jaguars drafted Travon Walker 1st overall last year

• Aidan Hutchinson went to the Lions one pick later

• Hutchinson says things worked out well

Apr 28, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson after being selected as
Apr 28, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson after being selected as / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars had their fair share of options with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. They ultimately went with Travon Walker, a highly athletic but somewhat raw prospect. With the second overall selection, the Detroit Lions landed Michigan native Aidan Hutchinson, who had a highly productive rookie campaign. One year later, Hutchinson says he's glad he fell to the Lions, which isn't necessarily controversial.

The Jags and Detroit have been holding joint practices ahead of their preseason matchup. Hutchinson took the chance to say that he's glad he landed with the Lions, "I'm very happy here. Very thankful. Very thankful," via Vito Chirko of Sports Illustrated.

Hutchinson goes on to say that, "It all worked out. It was divine timing. The way things went was the way things were supposed to go."

Although Hutchinson was deemed more NFL ready than Walker, the Jaguars bet on the latter's upside. So far, Hutchinson has been the more productive of the two, tallying three interceptions, three passes defensed, 9.5 sacks and 52 total tackles as a rookie. Meanwhile, Walker had 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one interception and 49 total tackles.

The Jaguars knew that Walker was a work in progress though. Having played with his hand on the ground throughout most of his collegiate career, he made the switch to outside linebacker in Jacksonville.

Walker flashed in his rookie season but he also showed he needed more time to hit his stride. Heading into Year 2, he's expected to have a bigger impact. Working in his favor is that he says the game has slowed down for him and that he can fully focus on getting ready for the season without having to worry about meeting with teams and the draft process.

Furthermore, the Georgia native has been cross training with defensive line coach Brentson Buckner and he'll be allowed to play on the two-point stand, where he's at his best, more often. Having said that, Hutchinson has been so far the best of the two, and they'll be linked through the rest of their NFL career by virtue of being drafted in back-to-back picks.

Aidan Hutchinson didn't say anything disparaging about the Jaguars

One of the reasons this story took off is that it was portrayed as if Aidan Hutchinson had said he was thankful Jacksonville didn't draft him but his comments weren't remotely close to that. Instead, he said he was thankful he was drafted by the Lions.

Although both statements look similar at first sight, they're quite different. You could argue that by saying he was grateful he fell to the Lions, he's implying that he's grateful he didn't go to the Jaguars. But that's like saying that being glad you won a competition is the same as being glad everyone else lost.

The truth is that if you spend all day shuffling words around, you can make anything sound horrible. Hutchinson's comments weren't. He was just expressing a preference. Think about it, he's a Michigan native, he played for the Wolverines. By being drafted by the Lions, he doesn't have to move far or star over. He's around his family and his friends.

Although there's plenty of value in meeting new people and new surroundings, having friends and relatives around is also something worth striving for. In Hutchinson's case. He's fortunate that he didn't have to move far for him, and there's nothing controversial about that.

The only things that may be controversial is the Jaguars' decision to take Walker over him, and even then, the jury is still out.

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