First-round draft pick Mike Hughes is coming into a packed secondary with the Minnesota Vikings, joining the likes of Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander and Terence Newman. But the No. 30 overall draft pick out of Central Florida looked the part in his first NFL game on Saturday at Denver.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said it was a good first step for Hughes and that he had spoken with others about how Hughes' first game compared to others.
Hughes ended up playing 29 snaps on defense and 12 on special teams. Hughes was credited with two tackles during the game.
Minnesota drafted what they considered the best overall player in Hughes at the time, instead of addressing an area of need. Hughes has his work in front of him to cut into playing time defensively with Rhodes and Waynes set as the outside starters and Alexander expected to be the first nickel back. Newman, the veteran, is there as a safety net for Zimmer and the defense.
Hughes' initial impact is likely to be felt on special teams as a returner, and likely on the coverage teams.