Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery to improve yourself. We’ve seen that happen before a few times within the NFL. A more recent one was Nelson Agholor, when after he had a few down years with the Eagles, he improved with the Raiders, posting a career-high in yards-per-reception (18.7), tied a career-high in touchdowns (eight), and a career-high in receiving yards (896). Another exemplary example would be Ryan Tannehill when he was traded from the Miami Dolphins to the Tennessee Titans.
This could be the situation with Mike Hughes. Hughes was a 2018 first-round pick selected by the Vikings; however, it did not pan out so well. He had a lackluster season in 2020, only playing in four games (inactive in Weeks 3-4; IR in Weeks 8-17), starting in two. He allowed a 75% completion percentage, 157 yards on 12 completions, one touchdown, and a 126.3 QB rating.
With a new team, Mike Hughes can make the jump, and prove to the league why he was pinned as a first-round talent.
New Team, New Staff
Of course, when it comes down to improving players, it boils mostly towards coaching. The Chiefs have a solid defensive staff, with Steve Spagnuolo leading the charge; moreover, the Chiefs have a legendary face as their cornerbacks’ coach, and that is none other than former Dolphin great Sam Madison.
If you don’t know who Sam Madison is, let me give you a rundown. He’s a two-time All-Pro, four-time Pro Bowl, and two-time Super Bowl-winning corner (one with the Giants, one with the Chiefs). In his 12 year career, he totaled 481 combined tackles, 103 pass deflections, 38 interceptions, and ten forced fumbles. To say he’s qualified to be an NFL coach is an understatement.
Madison has the brainpower and skills to bring Hughes’s talent back to the forefront. Look at how he helped develop L’Jarius Sneed with a shortened off-season and no pre-season. He helped turn a fourth-round talent into a solidified starter, as he allowed a 59.6 completion percentage that season, with only allowing one touchdown plus a 54.2 QB rating in nine games played.
He could easily do the same with Hughes. Madison and whoever else will coach him can bring out that first-round talent that has been hidden inside him for a while; plus, I’m sure that talent is ready to burst out.
To add on, besides Sneed, he has a solid cornerback core around him with Rashad Fenton and Chavarius Ward. They can easily help each other improve as the new season is starting to take form.
Now, Mike Hughes definitely won’t be a starter this season, unless he significantly improves his game. He will most likely be the slot/nickel corner for the Chiefs this season if training camp goes smoothly. This would be a good place to start ahead of his career revamp.
He has loose hips, which gives him the ability to turn, and gives him an advantage when facing a faster wide receiver. He also has good speed and solid agility; this is something you always need in your slot corner. He also has great athleticism, and that helps in his overall play style.
He’d be a solid slot corner to start the season with, and it could turn to be a long-term position for him. He could excel at this, which could intrigue the Chiefs to sign him to another contract to run it back another year.
Mike Hughes can definitely revamp his career with the Chiefs. He does have to work on his skills in coverage, but he has the capabilities and the talent to truly make a mark with the Chiefs and in the NFL.
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