February 4, 2023

When it comes to the first round of the NFL Draft, the league loves to build up as much drama as possible with each pick, but there was at least one team that decided to throw the drama out the window this year, and apparently, the NFL wasn’t happy about it. 

Detroit had the second overall pick on Thursday night and after watching Jacksonville select Travon Walker with the top pick, the Lions had 10 minutes to let the NFL know who they were going to select with their pick. As it turns out though, the Lions didn’t need 10 minutes to make their pick. As a matter of fact, they barely needed 60 seconds to select Aidan Hutchinson out of Michigan.  

According to Peter King of NBC Sports, the Lions turned their draft card in “within a minute” of Walker being selected. The Lions made their pick so quickly that the NFL was actually upset about it. 

“We turned the card in so fast the league got mad at us,” a Lions official told King. 

As you can see below, there were only two minutes between when the NFL announced the first and second pick on Twitter (To put that in perspective, there were six minutes between the announcement of Hutchinson and the announcement of the third overall pick, Derek Stingley Jr., who went to the Texans). 

The NFL Draft is made-for-TV extravaganza, so it makes sense that the league wants the teams to add some drama by milking out most of their time limit when they’re on the clock in the first round. For instance, the Jaguars used nearly their entire allotment of time even though they knew exactly who they were going to take. 

All the drama from the NFL Draft comes from not knowing who a team is going to take. Also, if every team were to quickly announce their pick in the first round, the opening night of the draft would be cut down from three hours to about 30 minutes, which the NFL probably wouldn’t be a huge fan of. 

The reason the Lions were so quick to make their pick is because they had been coveting Hutchinson. Since the Lions knew exactly who they wanted, coach Dan Campbell didn’t see any need to go through the “dog-and pony-show” 

“Brad said, ‘Turn it in; let’s go.’ Because we knew we were good,” Campbell said of why the Lions turned the card in so quickly, via SI.com. “‘Let’s go; he’s our guy.’ We weren’t going to wait around, and we’re not going to do the whole dog-and-pony show. We got our guy, and we turned the card in.”

Hutchinson was born in Michigan, went to college at Michigan and he was actually hoping the Lions would draft him, which is something you don’t hear very often from top draft prospects. 

“I was just walking around the building today with my family and it’s just weird because growing up as a Michigan guy, I’m around Detroit sports so much and to think that I’m a Lion, it seems like a wild dream to me, but now, it’s kind of come true,” Hutchinson said after being drafted, via ESPN. “So, it’s wild, but I’m soaking it all in and I’m sure one of these days it’s gonna hit me for sure.”

As someone who was born in 2000, Hutchinson doesn’t have a lot of great memories during his lifetime as a Lions fan, but he’s hoping he can change that. 

“Not a ton of great memories. We went through the 0-16 season when I was growing up,” Hutchinson said. “I’ve been to a couple Lions games before, and the atmosphere is just great. When the Lions are winning ballgames, it’s like, ‘Happy wife, happy life.’ The fans are just so into it. I just hope that when we’ve got the right pieces going, I think the coaches are right, we can start to get this ball rolling a little bit.”

If Hutchinson can help turn the franchise around, he’ll go down as a legend in his home state. 

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