2018 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Mike Hughes
School: Central Florida
Weight: 185 pounds
On vertical routes, Hughes shows the ultimate confidence in his speed to make plays. His film shows a corner that will actually run the route better than the receiver will. During his time in Orlando, Hughes did not depend on safety help. He uses an explosive first step combined with a sudden hip flip to chase receiver. More often than not, Hughes outran the receiver to the overthrown ball. Additionally, Hughes used his burst to return three kicks and one interception for touchdown. Hughes possesses that fourth gear to either burst through the pack or separate in the open field on kicks.
Hughes primarily played off at UCF, primarily using his burst to make up ground on passes in front of him. In subpackages, Hughes alternated between zone and man. He excels in both. However, in the NFL, Hughes will need to play closer to the wideout. Chances are he will have safety help over the top.
Hughes’ quickness shows in a variety of ways. In the run game, he will dart through; dodge blocks to make a play. Additionally, on short passes or screens, Hughes drives through traffic to blow up the play. When returning kicks, he makes the first tackler miss with a bounce or quick shift in direction.
During his two seasons of major college football, Hughes worked on using his hand across the body of a receiver. Without grabbing the receiver with his inside hand, Hughes slides his arm in between the receiver’s hands. In addition, Hughes’ hand/eye coordination helps him secure interceptions. Whether the ball is tipped or not, the chance remains for the pick.
While Hughes’ aggressive nature helps him, it does not always translate to tackling. Hughes attempts to dive low on the ballcarrier to upend him. Instead of using a proper square up technique, Hughes flies in to disrupt. A strong DB coach must break him of this habit.
With the Raiders secondary in a state of disorder, Hughes could fit various roles. He possesses the ball skills to play outside and the quicks to operate in the slot. Furthermore, Hughes would immediately bolster a rather weak return game. The Raiders lack explosion in the secondary and special teams. Hughes would solve both problems.