After about four and a half hours of waiting, the Minnesota Vikings finally made a draft pick, and despite there being a few solid offensive linemen on the board, they opted to address the defensive backfield.
With the 30th pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings have selected Mike Hughes, a cornerback from the University of Central Florida.
Hughes appears to be a pretty raw prospect, as he played in junior college for a couple of years before joining Scott Frost’s team at Central Florida for one season. In that season, he made a pretty significant impact, as he earned First-Team All-American conference honors.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compares Hughes to current NFL cornerback Bradley Roby.
Hughes simply hasn’t had the game experience he needs to put together the consistency in coverage that teams might like to see. He’s a projection-based prospect who has shown twitch, ball production and toughness in a small sample size. Despite being a little short, he is likely to stay outside in coverage. While teams wait for him to gain coverage experience, they can certainly lean on his tremendous talents as a return man. Hughes has potential, but there is still work to be done in coverage.
As far as his fit with the Vikings, he’s almost certain to slot in as the team’s new kickoff return specialist. As far as contributing at cornerback, he could potentially be a slot option for the team right away, but it would be more ideal for him to have time to develop. With the Vikings still not picking up the fifth-year option on Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander still being uncertain, Hughes could be a contributor sooner rather than later.
Welcome to Minnesota, Mike Hughes!
Grade the Minnesota Vikings’ selection of Mike Hughes at #30 in the 2018 NFL Draft:
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