The Chiefs enter the 2021 season with a cornerback that’s set up to really succeed.
It’s been a great roster building offseason so far in Kansas City. General manager Brett Veach continues to show how to aggressively put together a team with lots of potential. Along with a complete overhaul of the offensive line, Veach has added a few nice pieces to the defense as well. One of those pieces is a talented young cornerback in former Minnesota Viking, Mike Hughes.
In May, the Chiefs were able to pull the former 2018 first-round draft pick away from Minnesota. The trade included a swap of sixth and seventh round draft picks, which made the compensation minimal. Now, the Chiefs and Hughes both land in a scenario that’s good for both team and player. The Chiefs get a young and talented cornerback with a lot of upside, while Hughes gets a fresh start in a place where he’s not buried on the depth chart.
Kansas City enters the 2021 season with a young group of cornerbacks that includes Charvarius Ward, L’Jarius Sneed, Rashad Fenton, and another former first-rounder in DeAndre Baker, if he’s healthy enough to play. With no real veteran presence on the team at the moment, all of these young guns will have a big opportunity to earn their stripes. Hughes joins in on a group with a ton of potential and a lot to prove, which is a great place for him to be. If defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo can seemingly make guys like Ward and Sneed play above their ability, it’ll be interesting to see what he can get out of an actual first-round draft talent.
In landing with the KC Chiefs, Mike Hughes gets a great opportunity to restart his career.
Hughes has hopefully brought to Kansas City a real hunger to prove himself. After getting his career off to a slow start, his role was very much put into question when Minnesota drafted cornerbacks Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler, both 2020 picks. Add to that the free agent signing of Patrick Peterson just this offseason and the writing was certainly on the wall. After being selected in the first-round in 2018 and not given a greater chance to prove himself, that has to be good fuel for his fire.
Not all the blame can fall on the Vikings, though. Unfortunately, Hughes has struggled with injuries. Each of his first three seasons were affected by various injuries, making it much harder for the team to pick up his fifth-year option. Instead, they opted to get what draft capital they could and send him down the road. All signs now point to Hughes being healthy and hopefully letting him go will prove to be a big mistake on Minnesota’s part.
Even though the Chiefs haven’t invested heavily in their cornerback group in recent seasons, they seem to be getting a decent return on the guys they have there. This is due in part to the scheme, but also because of Tyrann Mathieu’s presence on the field as well. Having the Honey Badger’s skill and leadership on the field will likely create a confidence in Hughes and set him up for some real success. If Hughes can more closely resemble the 2019 version of himself, this will bode well to take his game to another level.
Thankfully, this isn’t a scenario where a player’s been bumped from team to team to team and is running out of chances to prove himself. Instead, this is a former first-round pick who’s simply struggled in only one place to really get his career going. The Chiefs’ culture is such that welcomes a young player like Hughes and gives them the greatest scenario for success. Here’s to hoping that Mike Hughes will really get his career going in Kansas City, where he’s set up to succeed.