Written by – Tyler Pastorius
The Minnesota Vikings look to add to a bolstering defense by selecting the 5’10” 189-pound cornerback from the University of Central Florida, Mike Hughes with the 30th pick in the first round. With a strong core already at in the secondary with Anderson Sendejo, Harrison Smith, and Xavier Rhodes, Mike Hughes has a chance of seeing himself in a starting position over other corner Trae Wayne. Hughes is one of those corners who are a little undersized but he has that fire in himself and is really stout to make an impact. The way Mike plays the ball is very receiver like. He will track the ball and catch like a receiver but he will also defend like an aggressive corner looking to derail the receiver. He posses a lot of speed and can see the field very well as a returner which means we could see Mike as on special teams as either a returner or gunner.
On paper Mike Hughes sounds like a great pickup but he has had off the field issues while he was at UNC for violating team rules, which led to a suspension. Due to this Hughes has only seen two years of collegiate ball with only one year as a starter. Again, the height is an issue which means getting to the high point of the ball can led to a lot mismatches. In a league where some of the bigger receivers and tight ends are seeing an emergence, this could mean trouble for the young defensive back.
Mike Hughes will definitely learn in training camp and practice week to week by going against guys like Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs out wide and someone like Dalvin Cook at running back and Kyle Rudolph on the inside at tight end. Hopefully, for the Vikings, Hughes will develop over the season otherwise week 12-14 may be a little rough where the Vikings will be facing Aaron Rodgers in Minnesota and then traveling on the road to face Tom Brady in New England and then Seattle for a matchup against Russell Wilson.
The Vikings were looking to field the pick but did not find any suitable offers so with what was left on the board, Minnesota grabbed a defensive back who can really grow into the mold by learning from some great players already used to the system.