Mike Hughes – CB
The cornerback from the University of Central Florida, Mike Hughes, enters his third season with the Vikings this year.
Minnesota spent their first-round pick on Hughes in the 2018 NFL Draft presumably because they knew the team would be moving on from one for their starting cornerbacks in the near future.
The future is now. This offseason, the Vikings allowed three (yes, three) of their top cornerbacks to exit-stage-left with the departures of Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackenzie Alexader. This exodus took place with, what felt like, very little fight from Minnesota’s front office.
At 23-years-old, Hughes will be one of the senior citizens in the Vikings cornerback room, if you can believe that. The team procured rookie corners Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler in the 2020 NFL Draft and it’s presumed Hughes will be the leader of said group.
Hughes led all Minnesota cornerbacks in passes-defended in 2019. This is noteworthy as he bested Rhodes and Waynes who received the bulk of the playing time. In fact, Hughes achieved this standing while playing only 46 percent of the Vikings defensive snaps last season. That is, indeed, promising.
As the new and presumable No. 1 guy on Minnesota’s cornerback depth chart, it is reasonable to conclude Hughes might flirt with Pro Bowl aspirations in 2020.