It’s been a week since the NFL 2022 draft began, and die-hard fans have pretty good knowledge of the eight new Detroit Lions players selected across all seven rounds. But we always try to delve a little deeper into the project as we are hungry for information and can’t wait for these young gentlemen to come out on the pitch.
So let’s get to know this working lesson at a deeper level than the people who know them best: their university coaching staffs. Sure, these coaches probably won’t throw their players under the media bus, but they undoubtedly know more about these prospects than about anyone but their families.
Here is a sample of what the training staff of each draft had to say about them.
Michigan EDGE Aidan Hutchinson
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh on why Hutchinson should be number 1 (by ESPN)
“Aidan personifies [being a champion]. He stayed, he became a champion, he improved his game, he became a captain, he was a great leader. He took our team on his back – along with Hassan Haskins. He broke his dad’s record and I think he will be number 1 on the draft.
Harbaugh on who Hutchinson compares to in the NFL (by 247 Sports)
“Tough, he’s a relentless player. Does not take part in extra time. It’s every game. It came out alright, and then I watched it in practice, it is the same every day. You know, it’s kind of interesting. Our strength coach, Ben Herbert, was a strength coach in Wisconsin and he was asked the same question, and I asked him, “Who would you compare him to?” He said he would compare him to the Watt brothers. So JJ Watt is who he compares him to. There is no one in his mind who he can compare to Agent Aidan Hutchinson. He was someone who was with both of them as a strength coach in Michigan and Wisconsin.
Former Michigan defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald on how Hutchinson inspired David Ojabo (by WXYZ-TV in Detroit)
“I think it happened that he saw Aidan approach everything and succeed, and realized what it meant to be great.”
MacDonald on Hutchinson’s versatility and variety of pass acceleration movements (via Corn and Blue Review)
“I’d say Aidan has a speed of 104mph then 96mph, and it can go with a 93mph slider, if that makes sense.”
Alabama WR Jameson Williams
Ohio state head coach Ryan Day (by Athletic)
“When Jameson arrived here, we knew his track times were off the charts. We knew its length, we knew its speed, but we didn’t know how tough it was. This is a guy who trained really hard. He gets in there and just tries to (play). There are a few clips of the movie where he just throws his body over. It was really impressive for all of us. His work ethic is really good. I think he has a really bright future ahead of him. “
Alabama head coach Nick Saban on recruiting him from the transfer portal (by on3.com)
“We were looking for a receiver,” said Saban. “We looked at everything on the portal. He started and played against us last year in the national championship game and we had a lot of respect for him from that point of view. When he was on the portal we looked at all the players and said, “He’s definitely the best guy, let’s try to get him.”
Saban on Williams comparing to Devonty Smith (by ESPN)
“I think JaMo can do both (inside and out) but I think he’s a more upright guy. He will be the guy who will cause people a lot of trouble because of his ability to catch a deep ball, which will make other catchers on this team better and more effective as well.
Kentucky EDGE Josh Paschal
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops (by your Sports Edge)
“Can’t say enough good things about Josh. I bragged about him and he deserves it. He truly is one of the most unique players I have ever had. I trained for a long time and had some really good players and amazing individuals. He is, if not number one, hard to beat when it comes to a person. “
Stoops on a Paschal match in the NFL (by your Sports Edge)
“He’s going to play for the NFL, no doubt about it.” He’s definitely a tweeter, and that might be a good thing, but he’s versatile. It will have a lot of glances and I think a lot of people will really study it to see where it will fit into their system. If you’re a team of 3-4 like us, he can still go outside because he’s so strong, stout, and the first and second losers might be “Sam” or “Jack” (linebacker) in this league and he has a hard time moving but is also versatile enough to get inside in predictable passes (situations). ”
Kentucky Defense Coordinator Brad White (through the Advocate-Messenger)
“We all know what he can do. Look at Auburn, Ole Miss, and in the middle of last year’s Mississippi games, and he was playing just as well as every defensive lineman in the SEC before getting hit. His body, his condition are at an elite level. We need him to perform at an elite level. ”
Security in Illinois Kerby Joseph
Illinois head coach Bret Bielema on mid-season improvement (by STL today):
“I think he’s just getting smarter and wiser in the way he plays,” said Bielema. “I like the way (defense coordinator Ryan Walters) has worked with him individually, just building his confidence. I think this is the third game in a row that he has left with some loss. … But I think he too would be the first to tell you that he has yet to play the perfect game and is a player that I’m excited about where he can go in the next games ahead of us and in the future as well. “
Bielem on Joseph’s future in the NFL:
This is from HC Bret Bielema: “As good as you think (DB Kerby Joseph) is now, his best football is definitely ahead of him”
– Jonathan Alday (@ JonathanAlday7) March 11, 2022
Bielem on Józef’s persistence in special teams (via the Journal and Time Courier)
“A guy who goes hard all the time and is literally involved in all four (special teams) for us and has gained a more defensive role as well.”
“He has the attitude of a player who enjoys the special teams aspect as much as the defensive snaps he does, so this combo is something you can win with it.”
Virginia Tech TE James Mitchell
Former Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente about the character of Mitchell (by Bristol Herald Courier)
“He’s a kid who does whatever you ask him to do, get great grades, graduates, things like that. He’s not pretending to be a fool. You just want other people to act like him.
Former Virginia Tech Offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen (by Virginian-Pilot)
“One of the best players we have – not only in attack but also in the team. He has experience. He has respect from his teammates. It just checks all the fields.
Fuente after Mitchell lost to a torn ACL
“We are disappointed with him. What a great leader and a great young man. He is the captain of the team, a member of the leadership council. We wish him a speedy recovery. ” – Fuente coach! will require knee surgery and will be inactive for the rest of the season. pic.twitter.com/uw3V7fKN8s
– Virginia Tech Football (@HokiesFB) September 13, 2021
State of Oklahoma LB Malcolm Rodriguez
Oklahoma head coach Mike Gundy explains why he values ex-wrestlers like Rodriguez (by ESPN)
“Wrestling is mental endurance. It’s a discipline. You need to gain weight. Sometimes you can’t eat. You go out for a few days and you are hungry all the time. You are in hand-to-hand combat. Cracked nose, cracked eyes. There is only you on the mat. You can’t point your finger at anyone else. You learn to be disciplined and tough and try to find a way to end.
Gundy on Rodriguez and WR Tay Martin’s appearances in Fiesta bowl winning the game Notre Dame (by shooting pistols)
“These guys are warriors. This is a brutal, physical game. Their bodies are beaten. They feel everything at night when they go to bed, and they feel it again when they wake up in the morning. So having them ready to put their bodies at risk for our culture, for our organization, and then to be successful, makes it all worth it. ”
Jackson State EDGE James Houston
Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders on Houston’s similarity to Micah Parsons (via HBCU Gameday)
“The kid fired this year and he has all sorts of awards, but he reminds me [Parsons]. All my attention to him was, “Look, man, Parsons was the guy on the inside, now he’s inside and out and he’s everywhere. You can do the same. Since he was an inner protector for us, but he wouldn’t have started there, so we moved him to rush and my god. He broke records and is phenomenal. “
Jackson State defensive line coach Jeff Weeks with his passing acceleration qualities (by Clarion Ledger)
“It’s his gift of skill from God. Most of all, it has a great first step. He’s got a great down move, and for a guy who has never really played in position, maybe good. He can move, has great body awareness. He sometimes exaggerates because he learns positions, but that’s simply because he isn’t a throwing pass all the time. But there are times when his natural ability shows that he is gifted and keeps getting better. ”
State of Arizona CB Chase Lucas
Arizona state head coach Herm Edwards on Lucas’s leadership: (by 247 Sports)
“I told him,” You will eventually become one of the leaders of this soccer team, “and rightly so. He is the captain of the team. He has played enough football games and the players respect him as a person and as a player that when he says something his voice is loud and the players know, “Hey, we have to hold each other accountable.” ”
Arizona Defense Coach Donnie Henderson (by EastValley.com)
“Once you’ve played all the games he has, confidence appears. You’ve seen enough through visual experiences, and when you think you are the best and feel like you are the best, you feel really good. I think he is at this point, after so many years he has been playing.