Detroit Lions' Aidan Hutchinson Wins Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Year

It's awards season in the NFL, and Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson has added a trophy to his shelf. The second overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft was named the Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Year.

Hutchinson notched 9.5 sacks in his debut season, including two in a dramatic season-ending victory over the Green Bay Packers. The former Michigan Wolverine also nabbed three interceptions and 52 total tackles, including nine for a loss.

Hutchinson faced stiff competition for the award, which included candidates on offense and defense. He topped New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave, Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III, New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner, and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen.

Hutchinson had a perfectly solid and promising season for a surprising Lions team that finished with their first winning record since 2017, but he didn't drastically outperform the other nominees. Most notably, Gardner led the league in passes defended and earned first-team All-Pro honors. Hutchinson may have benefitted from an unusually heightened profile. He's a local legend in Michigan, having played in the state in high school, college, and now in the pros.

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