Name: Mike Hughes
Hughes’ hands are natural and he does a good job of knowing when to hand fight downfield or not. Hughes displays plenty of confidence in his hands in downfield coverage. When Hughes is defending passes, he almost looks like a receiver, going up and high pointing the ball. The plus side about his greatness to highpoint passes, is it can save him in coverage against plus sized receivers.
I mentioned the confidence that Hughes displays with his natural hands. But, he may have the most confidence in his ability in press coverage. The way Hughes uses his arms to stab and halt the receiver’s route is something that he takes pride in. When he doesn’t decide to push the receiver at the start of the route, Hughes has plenty of above average speed to run with any receiver down the field. Hughes’ footwork is also above average, as he uses that speed to close down a route quickly.
This is the part of Hughes’ game that can really use some help. Hughes does a nice job of getting off of blocks or staying on top of the receiver, but tackling becomes inconsistent. But, having the physical and stout traits that Hughes does, it may not be as much of a work in progress as it seems to be. At the NFL level though, tackling is something that is least talked about when studying prospects, and Hughes could still see some playing time just based on his pass coverage alone.
Chiefs Fit: You can never have enough cornerbacks, even though the Chiefs have recently acquired Kendall Fuller. Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson are also still on the depth chart, but Hughes could really become a buffer for those guys. Also, even with those defensive backs, the Chiefs defense was abysmal in 2017.
Hughes only started one year in college, two of his three college years were in Division One. Due to experience, Hughes may fall to day two of the draft, despite his physical style of play. But, that may also be a good thing for the Chiefs, who are currently without a first round pick. Day two is also full of just as good of talented players, as day one draft picks can possibly be. That just depends on team needs.