News Trending

Mike Hughes determines the future of the Minnesota Vikings

Tanishka Mhaskar
March 30, 2020
Photo: USA Today Sports Images 

The Minnesota Vikings’ secondary is facing a complete revamp this offseason. With their top three corners from a year ago out the door, the Vikings have a dangerously fluid cornerback situation. 

After two injury plagued seasons, Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mike Hughes faces a pivotal year.

The Vikings hope to find their new top CB in wake of Xavier Rhodes’ decline. Hughes can be it if his injuries don’t stop him. In his first two years, Hughes has already suffered from a torn ACL and a broken neck vertebra. Players that get injured frequently early in their careers don’t pan out to their full potential. 

The team seems confident in Hughes as their top corner due to their lack of free agent moves at cornerback, but ultimately Hughes’ play in 2020 will determine what the Vikings need to do to shore up their secondary in order to compete beyond 2021. 

Hughes’ rookie year couldn’t have started off any better. He showed tremendous potential and ability that only got better as the weeks went on. Hughes was third on the depth chart behind incumbents Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes, and he spent time playing the vast majority of his time playing the nickelback position. Hughes was the corner the Vikings were hoping for when his name was called on draft day. 

Coming off of a torn ACL, Hughes’ 2019 campaign had its fair share of ups and downs. For starters, he saw more playing time on the outside as injuries surmounted in the secondary. Hughes succeeded against the likes of Keenan Allen and Golden Tate but struggled mightily, starting outside for the first time, against Amari Cooper. 

Hughes was a primary rotational piece in 2019, but he struggled to overtake Waynes or Rhodes, both of whom had some of their worst career years, for a starting spot. 

He has covered well whenever he’s been in the game, barring a few miscommunications. Hughes rarely missed tackles or caused penalties. His issues mostly came from lack of experience, size and fluidity. He has everything in him to make the necessary leap into being the Vikings top corner. 

The question is, will he?