*CB grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, Wonderlic test results leaked, etc. We will update info as it becomes available. 

I think most people agree that Mike Hughes is a top 5, or so, CB prospect in this draft class…a top 50 prospect for sure. The debate centers on whether Hughes is just top 5-ish among CBs and a 2nd round draft pick prospect…or is he one of the 2-3 best CBs in this draft and a top 15-25 pick?

After looking at the data and the tape, I’m kinda falling in-between those two theories. He’s a smaller CB that plays a little bigger. He’s not blazing fast (4.53) but he does have quick feet (6.70 three-cone). He’s probably going to be more of a slot corner than a shutdown on an island corner.

What I like about Hughes…

When I watched him play against top WR prospects D.J. Moore (Maryland) and Anthony Miller (Memphis), he either blanketed them…or, mostly, the QBs (and those WRs) avoided even matching up with him or throwing his way.

Hughes has pretty solid cover skills. He’ll get up and press coverage and fight with a WR. He’s a tough, hard-nosed defender. He has NFL speed, strength, and higher-end agility. He’s a solid worker and doesn’t cower before any WR/challenge. He’ll come up and hit in the run game if it comes his way as well.

What I don’t like about Hughes…

His size…he’s not a classic shutdown corner size that you want in a top 15-20 pick. You’re getting a good slot corner, which is in high demand…but you’re not getting a guy who’s going to shut down a team’s #1 WR. He’s not taking Julio Jones or DeAndre Hopkins out of play.

I also don’t love his background. He began his career at North Carolina and was kicked off the team for a 2015 assault charge. He then went the JUCO route and made his way to Central Florida in 2017 and had a terrific season. His background is a little sketchy and I see it in his play sometimes…a little lazy, a little too confident in his skills – admirable on one hand but open to getting torched on the other.

There are a lot of B/C grade CB prospects in this draft…Hughes is one of them but he is also one of the smaller ones (physically/size) and also the one with the most checkered background. If you’re asking me to choose between him or Josh Jackson, Isaiah Oliver, or Zaire Alexander…I’d probably pick Hughes last, but I acknowledge he’s in the same talent range. Some would argue he’s better than all them, but I don’t think it would be worth the high pick with other similar/better/cleaner/bigger options available.

 


 

Mike Hughes, Through the Lens of Our CB Scouting Algorithm:


One season as a UCF starter, with 4 picks and a TD return. That gets everyone excited but that pick TD was a late game blowout of Maryland and the ball bounced off the WR’s hands and up for grabs for Hughes’s easy catch and run score.

What’s really impressive, and what makes me stop in my tracks and wonder if we’re underselling Hughes – 3 return TDs in 2017…2 on kick returns and 1 punt return score. That’s wildly impressive, but when I watched those scores I was never like ‘wow’, I’m watching one of the great return men here.


2018 NFL Combine

5’10”/189, 8.75” hands, 30 7/8” arms (small hands, short arms…another ‘red flag’ish item)

4.53 40-time, 4.13 shuttle, 6.70 three-cone

20 bench reps, 35.5” vertical, 10’7” broad jump


The Historical CB Prospects to Whom Mike Hughes Most Compares Within Our System:


I was a fan of B.W. Webb, and he’s kicked around the league a bit but never fully ‘made it’. Jourdan Lewis might be an accurate representation of Hughes – not the greatest size or measurables but a tough corner who works. 


CB Grade

Last

First

Draft Yr

College

H

H

W

Cover Rating

Speed Metrics

Agility Metric

Tackle Metric

6.406

Hughes

Mike

2018

C. Florida

5

10.1

189

6.86

1.78

7.72

7.40

6.089

Webb

B.W.

2013

William & Mary

5

10.2

184

6.52

3.19

10.74

5.36

3.979

Carmichael

Rashad

2011

Va Tech

5

10.0

192

5.83

1.60

7.61

5.71

4.506

Lewis

Jourdan

2017

Michigan

5

10.2

188

7.08

1.41

2.49

6.40

3.785

Samuel

Asante

2003

C. Fla

5

10.7

185

5.79

-0.61

4.66

4.89

2.021

Acker

Kenneth

2014

SMU

5

11.5

190

5.60

-4.45

1.37

6.25



*The ratings are based on a 1–10 rating scale, but a prospect can score over 10.0+ and less than 0.0

OVERALL RATING -- We merge the data from physical measurables, skill times/counts from the NFL Combine/Pro Days, with college performance data available on pass coverage/tackles, etc. and grade it compared to our database history of all college CBs, with a focus on which CBs went on to be good-great-elite in the NFL. We found characteristics/data points that the successful NFL CBs had in common in college, that most other CB prospects could not match/achieve.

Scoring with a rating over a 7.00+ in our system is where we start to take a CB prospect more seriously. Most of the future NFL successful college CBs scored 8.00+, and most of the NFL superior CBs pushed scores more in the 9.00+ levels...and future NFL busts will sneak in there from time to time. 10.00+ is where most of the elite NFL CBs tend to score in our system analysis.

COVERAGE -- A combination of on-field data/performance and physical profile data

SPEED -- Measurables from a perspective of straight-line speed, burst, etc.

AGILITY -- Measurables for lateral movements, quick cuts, body type, speed, etc. 

POWER -- A look at physical size, tackling productivity in college, other physical measurables. One of the side benefits/intentions here is to see which CBs may be more of a model for a conversion to playing safety successfully in the NFL. Also denotes CBs who are more physical/will have higher tackle totals...over pure speed/coverage CBs.

2018 NFL Draft Outlook:

Hughes draft projections range from #15-50 overall. Mostly in the #20-30 range. I think the depth of this CB class, with ‘good-not-great’ CBs pushes Hughes late 1st or early 2nd.

If I were an NFL GM, I like Hughes well enough, but not in the top 30-40…I might be interested at 50+. I’d focus on the other similarly ‘good’ CBs available.


NFL Outlook:   

Feels like he might be a good worker in the NFL, but nothing special…and is somewhat forgotten over time. Will have work for years but never is a Pro Bowl caliber player unless he really shines in slot coverage. 





4/13/2018