After weeks and months of speculation the first round of the draft finally reached us last night and the Vikings, after an off-season where they basically overhauled their offense, decided to go back to what they know best with their first overall pick by drafting a corner out of Central Florida in Mike Hughes. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is known as a cornerback guru and so you knew that with some need for depth at the position (and perhaps at the nickel spot, as well), the Vikings would be taking a corner at some point in this week’s draft, however, it was a surprise that they ended up taking one with their first overall pick although it does seem that, at least on paper, the Vikings may have gotten a steal by picking up Hughes at 30.
Here are some of Hughes’ highlights:
The player that a lot of writers (myself included) expected the Vikings to take was Ohio State’s Billy Price, as they had shown some interest in him at the combine and because the need at (interior) offensive line is perhaps the greatest on the team. However, Price ended up being picked 21st overall by the Bengals, leaving the Vikings to perhaps go into Best Player Available mode. According to WalterFootball.com, Mike Hughes is the fourth best corner in this years draft (after Denzel Ward, Jaire Alexander, and Joshua Jackson), but some scouts actually rank him as the best corner in this year’s draft and ranked him lower because of some of his off-the-field concerns and a “Meh” combine.
Here are Hughes’ combine results:
As well as how he compares to other CBs:
So, with Zimmer probably in hog heaven, this move should shore up the cornerback position. With the Vikings reportedly looking to pick up Trae Waynes’ fifth-year option this move screams nickel and depth, as former second-round pick Mackenzie Alexander has struggled at times at the position. Hughes is also an electrifying return man, which could help on kickoffs or once Marcus Sherels retires. This also means that the Vikings should look to their offensive line tonight, especially considering the depth and players that are still available.
We will be hosting a Day2DraftParty tonight at the Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis. We will be doing a live Q and A with writers from VikingsTerritory.com and purplePTSD.com. We will be doing giveaways, a silent auction for charity and just having a great time drinking purple kool-aid, so RSVP and stop on by!