Former Vikings first-round pick named AFC Defensive Player of the Week

(Photo by Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Hughes
(Photo by Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Hughes /

Former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mike Hughes has been named the latest AFC Defensive Player of the Week after an impressive performance for the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 14.

After three underwhelming seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, cornerback Mike Hughes was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this year in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Hughes was originally selected by the Vikings in the first round of the 2018 draft and the team had high expectations for him.

Unfortunately, a slew of injuries got in the way of the young defensive back ever being able to reach his full potential in Minnesota.

Former Minnesota Vikings CB Mike Hughes helps Kansas City Chiefs get a big win in Week 14

When they acquired Hughes back in May, the Chiefs were hoping he would be able to establish himself as a solid piece of their defense.

In his first season with Kansas City, Hughes hasn’t exactly played at a level that would make someone believe he entered the league as a first-round draft pick in 2018. However, he’s still had some impressive moments on the field this year as well.

When the Chiefs took on the Las Vegas Raiders this past Sunday, Hughes recovered a fumble on the very first play of the game and returned it 23 yards the other way for a Kansas City touchdown.

Later on in the second quarter of the matchup, Hughes forced Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow to fumble the football, which was then recovered by the Chiefs’ defense. Then as the fourth quarter was winding down, the former Vikings cornerback knocked the ball out of Las Vegas receiver Zay Jones‘ hands to force his second fumble of the afternoon.

Hughes’ performance on Sunday has resulted in the former Minnesota first-round pick being named the latest AFC Defensive Player of the Week. It’s the first time in his NFL career that he has been honored as a player of the week.

With Kansas City currently sitting with a 9-4 record after winning each of their last six games, Hughes should have the opportunity to appear in a playoff game for the first time in his pro career this season.

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The Vikings went to the postseason in 2019 with Hughes on the roster, but he was unable to be on the field for both of their playoff games that season due to injury.