Grading all of the Vikings first-round draft picks since 2018

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Jefferson
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Hughes /

Mike Hughes – CB

  • No. 30 overall selection

Selecting cornerbacks early in the draft process is something that became prevalent throughout the Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman era. The Minnesota Vikings enjoyed moderate success using this method of recruitment within their secondary, but some depth concerns could lead the new regime down this path if the right prospect falls into their laps in 2022.

Minnesota had to wait until extremely late in 2018, taking cornerback Mike Hughes at No. 30 overall. This was a prospect that had shutdown potential entering the league out of Central Florida, but a series of disastrous injuries hindered his progress and was something he was unable to recover from.

Hughes did flash moments of quality during his time with the Vikings. There was even a chance for the player to become the team’s No. 1 option after Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes left in free agency.

Another injury problem derailed this objective, and Hughes was moved on during the 2021 offseason, eventually signing with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he emerged as a solid rotational piece before joining the Detroit Lions this spring.

Draft Grade: C-

If Hughes had enjoyed a clear run on the health front, things might have been different. But that simply wasn’t the case and the Vikings were right to cut their losses.