According to Michigan law, you have to be at least 30 years old to serve as governor of the state. That will set up nicely for the 2030 race, as Aidan Hutchinson — the Michigan native and soon-to-be University of Michigan grad who is tantalizingly close to playing for the Detroit Lions — will have turned 30 that August.
Seriously: If Hutchinson lands in Detroit, he’ll be set up to be the state’s most favorite son, perhaps ever. Get those campaign signs ready.
Of course, in order for Hutchinson to be picked by the Lions second overall in Thursday night’s NFL Draft, a few things have to happen.
First, the Jacksonville Jaguars have to pass on him, which was not looking likely as recently as this past weekend, when Hutchinson was -200 (and higher) at America’s sportsbooks to be the No. 1 pick.
Then Peter King issued his mock draft, and he had Travon Walker of the University of Georgia going first. Next thing you know, the board flipped and Walker became the consensus favorite, with Hutchinson’s odds dropping to as low as +190.
With more mocks coming and rumors circulating on the hour, expect more movement there. Already, it was reported Monday that there is internal struggle at Jaguars headquarters as to what to do with the No. 1 pick.
Sources tell @TonyPauline that #Jaguars GM Trent Baalke wants Georgia’s Travon Walker, but owner Shad Khan prefers Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson.#PFNReport | #NFLDrafthttps://t.co/jxphFMUrjK
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) April 25, 2022
For argument’s sake, let’s assume Walker goes to the Jags. It’s a layup for the Lions, right? Grab the hometown hero?
The Lions have invested a ton of time with Kayvon Thibodeaux, the University of Oregon edge rusher. Would the Lions bypass Hutch for Thibs? It’s entirely possible — Thibodeaux is currently +250 to go No. 2 at FanDuel, compared to Hutchinson’s -200.
And don’t forget plenty of mock drafters still insist the Lions will grab Liberty quarterback Malik Willis — he’s +2000 at FanDuel — with the second pick.
Of course, if the Lions can take Hutchinson but pass on him, the Detroit columnists are going to have a field day bemoaning the decision.
That’s cool: Barry Sanders and Keegan-Michael Key will announce the Lions second round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft pic.twitter.com/rlo7GZhHdy
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) April 26, 2022
While the No. 2 pick is garnering a lot of attention, remember the Lions also have the 32nd and 34th picks in the draft. And assuming the team passes on Willis initially, they might jump on University of Cincinnati signal caller Desmond Ridder with the 32nd pick if he’s available..
The Lions’ needs run pretty deep, however, with holes at safety and linebacker a concern. Depending on the board, the Lions could also make a run at an outside wide receiver to pair with star-in-the-making slot man Amon-Ra St. Brown.
But for now, all eyes are on that second pick, and the potential future governor of Michigan. (Sure, he majored in “applied exercise science,” but how hard is it to cross out applied exercise and replace it with political?)
Photo: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY