Lions’ Aidan Hutchinson and D’Andre Swift on NFLPA Rising Stars list

The Detroit Lions are represented on the NFLPA’s 2022 Rising Stars list, in a nod to the talent and local marketability of Aidan Hutchinson as well as the potential of D’Andre Swift.

When the Detroit Lions drafted Aidan Hutchinson second overall in the April draft, beyond his talent and form on the field, it created a marketing opportunity by drafting a Michigan native and former Michigan Wolverine. The No. 97 Lions jerseys are sure to be hugely popular in Detroit, as if they aren’t already.

The The NFLPA came out with its “Rising Stars” list for 2022. A total of 20 players have done so, with specific mention of those seen as opportunities to rank among the leaders in officially licensed gamer merchandise sales.

The annual NFLPA Rising Stars List identifies top rookies and veterans poised to have breakout seasons, garner fan support, and ultimately rank among the top sellers of all player merchandise under official license.

Hutchinson ranks 4th among rookies, behind Kenny Pickett, Drake London and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner.

Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson joins D’Andre Swift on NFLPA Rising Stars list

Entering his third season, expectations are pretty high for Lions running back D’Andre Swift. In 13 games last season (really, 10 with heavy action), he topped 1,000 scrimmage yards and had 62 receptions. There’s no denying his talent, he just needs to refine his all-around game and stay on the pitch better.

The NFLPA also listed 10 veterans on the Rising Stars list. Non-rookies might have been a better description for this list, unless a sophomore qualifies as a “veteran.” Anyway, Swift came in at No. 7 there.

The Lions need to win more games before their collection of young players gets all the recognition they deserve, individually or collectively. But the Players Union sees star potential in Hutchinson and Swift heading into the 2022 season, and that counts for something, right?

Charles P. Patton