The Marty Smith Podcast: Aidan Hutchinson Talks Possibility of Going No. 1 in 2022 NFL Draft

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Later tonight, college football’s most elite players will turn pro when they’re selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Therefore it’s appropriate that for the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast, the guys welcomed potential No. 1 overall draft pick, Aidan Hutchinson, to the show.

Numerous NFL analysts have predicted that the 6’6″, 265-lb. defensive end will be the first player off the board on Thursday night. The University of Michigan product has been hailed as a can’t-miss prospect that will make an instant impact at the line of scrimmage.

That’s exactly what the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have the first overall pick, could use on their defensive line. Therefore most analysts don’t think Aidan Hutchinson will be available after the Jags make the first selection of the draft. Host Marty Smith knows the 21-year-old will be a Top 5 pick at a minimum, but asked his feelings about going No. 1 overall.

“We know you’re going to be in the Top 5. So many people say you’re going to go one overall. To what degree do you care if you’re one or not?” Marty Smith asked Aidan Hutchinson.

“It would definitely be cool,” Hutchinson admitted on The Marty Smith Podcast. “Because you know, going No. 1 is definitely something cool that I could hang onto later in life. But at the end of the day, as long as I’m going to the right culture, to the right fit, where I can get the most out of my career is where I’ll be happy. So, whether that be No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 – it doesn’t matter to me. As long as I’m being put in an environment where I’m capable to succeed.”

Marty Smith Asks Aidan Hutchinson About His NFL Draft Preparation

Host Marty Smith has been around college football for years covering the sport for ESPN. He knows how much hard work goes into a student-athlete’s offseason leading up to an NFL Draft. While all players that have the potential to get drafted will be analyzed ad nauseam, nothing compares to a possible No. 1 overall pick. That’s something Aidan Hutchinson has had to deal with in recent months as he prepared for his Pro Day and the Draft Combine.

Players that make the transition from college football to the NFL face a rigorous process as teams evaluate their talent. All players are under a microscope, but Aidan Hutchinson is dealing with a heightened level of critiques. Yet as intense as the draft process can be, the Michigan star has taken it in stride. In fact, Hutchinson grew up watching the NFL Combine and paid attention to team officials evaluating elite players. The potential No. 1 pick opened up about training for the combine and even admitted that his nerves kicked in during the big day.

“Getting to that day, I was definitely a little more nervous than I thought I was going to be. You know, when you walk up to that 40-line, you’re like, ‘Dang, that looks a little longer than it does on TV.’ I was definitely a little more nervous for it than I thought,” Aidan Hutchinson admitted as the guys shared a laugh.

“But in the end, Pro Day and combine, they both went really smooth,” he added. “I prepped and I worked as hard as I could to get my best results. So I’m happy, I have no regrets, and I’m moving on now. My application is complete, so now we’re just moving on to the draft.”

Hutchinson has done everything he could at this point to put himself in position to be the first player drafted on Thursday. The hard work is behind him and now he just has to wait for his name to be called. That won’t take long as the 2022 NFL Draft begins later tonight.