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NCAAF - US Sports: Hutchinson strengthens first pick bid

Aidan Hutchinson strengthened his bid to be this year's top college draftee at Michigan's pro day on Friday, but then suggested he'd be more than happy to go to the Detroit Lions, who are due to pick at number two.

Hutchinson, who is now 1/4 to be the first overall pick in the 2022 draft, completed 28 reps of the bench press at 225lbs to eclipse the mark set by the other big pass rushing prospect of the class at this month's NFL Combine.

Oregon State's Kayvon Thibodeaux led all edge rushers with 27 reps in Indianapolis, but most talent evaluators believed Hutchinson was the stronger prospect anyway.

But now it's official, as the 21-year-old also surpassed the mark of his father, former Wolverines standout Chris, who completed 26 reps at the 1993 Combine.

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He was watched by Detroit Lions' general manager Brad Holmes and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, who made the short trip to Ann Arbor, as well as Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Lovie Smith, whose Houston Texans team holds two first-round selections including the third overall pick.

Hutchinson would be happy with Lions

"I know if I were to end up in Detroit it would definitely make the transition to the NFL easier, as I know it's a hard transition," he told reporters at a media conference later, via The Maize and Blue Review Youtube Channel.

"Staying close to home, closer to family, would definitely have a lot of benefits in that sense."

The Lions are scheduled to select after the Jacksonville Jaguars on day one of the draft and there's a good chance Hutchinson will be gone by then.

The Jaguars, whose spending has been centred on the offensive side during their free-agency flurry, ranked 21st in sack percentage and tied for 23rd in rushing yards allowed per game last season and need to address those inadequacies.

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