Scouting Report: Mike Hughes, CB


NEPD Staff Contributor: Jeff Fidler

Forward by:Mike Gerken

While most of you come to this site because you are a hardcore draft fan, so you already know who Mike Hughes is. For those who are just getting into this draft class, the name might not be familiar to you yet because scouting a player from Central Florida may not be at the top of your priority list. While UCF was denied an opportunity to play for a National Championship despite going undefeated, it wasn’t because of a lack of talent, especially on defense. Today, Jeff broke down the play of one of their best players on the field who has an interesting past and may have some red flags off of it. How will that affect his draft stock? Read on to find out.


  • Born February 11, 1996.
  • North Carolina native. Went to U.N.C. & played in 11 games before being arrested for a misdemeanor (assault inflicting serious injury) Went j.u.c.o. route in Kansas for a year before deciding on U.C.F. over South Carolina & others.
  • Played Slot, RB, Return kicks while at Garden City Community College amassing 900+ all purpose yards.
  • Coaches at Garden Community said he got back on track & raved about his progress. Coaches at U.C.F. echoed personal development since joining the team.
  • #18 Athlete coming out of High School.



  • 5’11/195 – Adequate H/W. Plays much bigger than size.
  • Fluid Hips. Very good C.O.D. Smooth transition. Shifty. Can stay w/ smaller, quicker guys.
  • Very Good Speed, Acceleration & Quick feet. Plays on the balls of his feet & seemingly glides.  Takes efficient steps.
  • Press – Gets in square, tight stance to explode & assault his man. Physical w/ very good punches & placement to impede WR’s at l.o.s. – Uses “Sidelines to Shutdown” Great job of squeezing WR’s outside, even out of bounds at times. Will use hands & body to stay tight downfield w/ his man. Good ball tracking ability.
  • Zone/Off Man – Very good route recognition & diagnosing overall play. Quick to process. Aware but baiting QB while watching the QB & his area. Has really good closing speed.
  • Not afraid of a challenge. Has no back down attitude you want. Wants to play opposing team’s #1.
  • Has some savvy & nuance to his game. Great job at using his hands to grab, arms to impede, body to change WR’s direction mid/route while not getting flagged. Poised.
  • Ball hawk mentality that wants to make a play whether it’s INT, PD or ripping a ball out. Wants to make a play but won’t sacrifice assignment.
  • Attacks ankles/feet of ball carriers. Good effort & willingness.
  • Has return skills that can change a game. Very elusive & has speed to put up 6.


  • Gives up inside release too easy when in press. Little late reacting & let’s his man cross his face. Could stay lower a little longer out of stance, in backpedal.
  • Probably will always have trouble with bigger WR’s because of size. Especially when they get inside position.
  • Has to keep eyes/head up when launching himself at ball carriers. Will duck & dive too much.
  • Could improve zone play. Specifically hand-off play w/ teammates. Some zone techniques will come in time w/ more play. You can tell he’s a “natural” press/man CB.


Hughes looks like the blue chip athlete he was ranked as coming out of High School. Like some prospects he got in trouble, went j.u.c.o. & battled back. He did just that while having a great year & helping U.C.F. to an undefeated season last year. He has almost everything you want in a CB besides great size. His quicks, speed, c.o.d. , ball skills & versatility are all top tier or borderline. Combine that w/ his quick mental processing, savvy & you have quite the player. Hughes is a 1st round & arguably CB1.

35 Responses to “Scouting Report: Mike Hughes, CB”

  1. ashley1992 says:

    I’d expect a high draft pick to go on the cb position. Good write up!!!

    • steve earle says:

      Agree, I expect at least one of our 2nds. I admit I can’t decide if Bill should take a 5-11 size CB or hold out for a 6-1 guy. Butler was a 5-11 but had trouble with the taller WR’s and is probably gone. How does that equate to guys like Hughes and other shorter CB’s?

  2. GM-in-Training says:

    If you were the Pats, you had limited draft capital, limited cap space after trying to retain some key free agents, where would you look to the mid-tier FA market instead of the draft to shore up the team?

    For instance,
    1. RB used to be cheap. The league valued passing, and there was always a new crop of younger, lower-mileage running backs to be had. Veterans coming off of their rookie deals were often plentiful, and underutilized talents could be found. Wouldn’t it make sense for the Pats to seek a veteran or a UDFA for RB?
    2. LB take awhile to learn the game. They usually see limited snaps as a rookie. The Pats already have Keith Rivers and Harvey Langi coming back as talented developmental OLB. Maybe the Pats try their luck again on a UDFA (like Langi), or a veteran who has played MLB behind a superstar.
    3. DL. Lawrence Guy was a solid addition last year. Kony Ealy and another veteran FA they added were not, but getting one starter out of 3 veterans at modest signing bonus writeoffs was not too bad.

    It seems like the positions you really really want to get high talent cheap and long-term with draft picks are OT, DE, CB and QB.

    • steve earle says:

      As you say one out of three DT starters not bad so two out of three is pretty good so I know you won’t mind my agreeing with your # 1 & 2 out of three. A decent RB FA is a good way to go as you note. Whether or not Bill adds any RB this will depend largely on if or how much he wants to keep Lewis. If Lewis gets “payed” I can see the position of Lewis, Burkhead, White and Devlin.
      Again I agree with your LB assessment thought I wouldn’t be surprised to see both a FA and a draft pick added due to the needs there.
      But I really think a good DT with high upside would be a great investment in the draft. All well and good to get one out of three FA’s but most often we are talking about guys already all they can be. I’d pass on an OT in the draft if as it looks Garcia is coming back healthy and they resign Solder for another two in order to draft that DT I’d like.

      • GM-in-Training says:

        I think Garcia is destined for swing tackle. I don’t see him as a future LT. His arms aren’t long enough, we got him in the mid rounds (partly because he needed to add beef), and I doubt his ceiling is elite.

        • steve earle says:

          That might be but I don’t recall Matt Light having excessively long arms, could be wrong. Still if it cam to a choice between an OT and a DT of equal value I’d go Def I think. But that’s just me.

  3. Stephen J says:

    Wow come back to find reports about

    Toni Garcia had blood clots in his lungs which is what caused the weight loss

    Danny Amendola’s market is expected to be 3-5 mil per year where he took a pay cut and was paid 3 million to stay last year.

    Nate Solder is planning on playing but hasn’t had talks with the Pats

    Rex Burkhead’s market is also heating up with multiple teams interested in his services.

    Jonathan Jones is still in a leg cast

    Pretty busy day

  4. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Patriot Mock Draft with possible trade.
    1 Mark Andrews TE Oklahoma
    2 Trade to Cleveland Browns for DeShone Kizer QB
    2 Rasheen Green DE USC
    3 Ike Boettger OT Iowa
    4 J.C. Jackson CB Maryland
    6 Skyllar Phillips G Idaho St.

    Free Agents
    Muhammed Wilkerson DT/DE Jets
    Bradley McDougald S Seattle
    Jeremy Attouchu OLB Chargers
    Troy Niklas TE Cardinals

    • steve earle says:

      Don’t like the idea of Wilkerson. No idea what his problem with the Jets is except it’s the Jets but still he is a huge red flag to me. AS for mocks right now we all have no new info so I’m waiting until the Combine results are in before I even think about it again.

  5. Stephen J says:

    Some Patriots QB’s Wonderlic Scores 24 is considered average

    Tom Brady 33
    Kliff Kingsbury 31
    Jimmy G 29
    Brian Hoyer 26
    Ryan Mallett 26
    Jacoby Brissett 24

  6. Stephen J says:

    As the combine gets under way this week it is a good time to reflect on Athleticism vs Technique. You will see Athleticism this week in spades but Athleticism in an of itself is not the answer. Neither is Technique in and of itself the answer. It’s that combination of both. For example while the pats may look for some athletic traits such as a good 3 cone time in their RB’s(IE Legarrette Blount 6.85) That same RB also needs to be able to protect the ball, block and either catch or return kicks/punts. So its not one or the other its the combination of both.

    This draft is loaded with players who are Athletic and have little to no technique or are sound technically but are lacking athletically. For those that believe that a player can be coached up Matt Waldman made a great point in a podcast earlier this month. In the NFL players are coached up to scheme(play book) not technique. They don’t have time to teach technique that’s up to the individual player to seek out help from someone and then practice on their own. Sure they may spend some time during camp but from there on out its mainly all about scheme with some reminders/refreshers on technique.

    If a player is lacking in technique don’t expect that player to be picked/drafted in the 1st 2 rounds no matter how athletic they are. Plus the later a player is drafted the less reps they get in practice. A player may be able to get away with Athleticism alone in College but in the NFL they may win a play here or there but for the most part they will be ineffective.

    • steve earle says:

      Great points here Stephen. Often we see some prospect just blow viewers minds with his numbers but be just good even fair in the season. High picks need to be the complete package as you point out.

  7. steve earle says:

    @ John: Well trying to reply to your mock and this site keeps jumping to Russell on me. Any way I see you like Oren Burks so I looked him up. 6-2 230 I think makes him a tweener but he has nice production just wonder about tweeners in general though. You have him in our 3rd which I suggest could be a reach. Not sure where he is projected to go so I could be wrong do you know where that projection is?

  8. Stephen J says:

    How BB and company drafts. They select their 60-80 or so players and place them in order by value. As the draft unfolds they eliminate those that have been selected and when its their time to pick if there is a group of them with the same value they look to trade back to an area where they can grab one while the others have been taken. What they don’t do is select a player that is not valued on their board because of need. Meaning they don’t go looking for a player because of a need to play that position(IE Lets draft the best available corner because we need one). If there is one on the board they value at the time fine but if not its who is valued at this point in time. They do not care about position/need. It’s what player they value that is left on the board when they pick and if that player also happens to fill a need then all the better. This is how its been for the past 18 years it will be no different this year.

  9. Matt H says:

    1st – Rashaan Evans LB Alabama
    2nd – Sony Michel RB Georgia
    2nd – Duke Ejiofor, DE, Wake Forest
    3rd – Kyle Lauletta QB Richmond
    4th – (Compensatory)Tavares McFadden CB FSU
    6th – OT prospect

    • carlo strada says:

      very good mock sir

    • steve earle says:

      You have some good prospects here Matt. Sony Mitchel I like and would fit our system I believe but if Lewis is resigned not sure Bill takes him. Still BB has not consulted me on anything yet so who knows? Sure would like to see a really good DT added either by draft or a FA. A really good FA DT could be out of our price range given our lack of cap space though. I do think though that Bill will be wheeling/dealing draft choices so anything can happen and no way we outsiders can account for that. Still I’m looking forward to it.

      • Stephen J says:

        Sony Michel had the 2nd worst fumble ration of all the RB’s in this class. Talent only gets you so far Fumbles get you benched.

  10. brandonmaxham says:

    VA Tech has 2 talented CBs Greg Stroman (6-0 180), Adonis Alexander (6-3 193)
    both have a nose for the ball. Alexander was arrested for possession of Marijuana in 2016 ( red flag possibly ?) Stroman needs to put on some weight to compete in the NFL . Alexander could be a CB or S the NFL. VA Tech also has the Edmunds bothers Tremaine and Terrell. Tremaine is a talented linebacker who only noticeable weakness seen is trusting his instincts too much . Terrell is a safety or a linebacker who has a nose for the ball ,big enough to cover bigger WRs and TEs . He needs to keep improving his tackling ability. He also has the agility to cover shifty WRs .

    • Stephen J says:

      Greg Stroman was 5’11” and 174 lbs at the East West Shrine game.

    • Stephen J says:

      As far as Alexander he is inconsistent and Joe Marino Talked to some people around the program and they do not speak highly of him. “Knucklehead” was the buzz word.

  11. macspak says:

    We often hear that drafting for need is a mistake and teams should take the best player available. Nonsense, mostly. Maybe on top end talent you can apply this approach but once you get in to the mid to late 1st round and thereafter I believe the difference in talent is too minimal to take the BPA. JG might be a positive example of taking talent over need a bit later in the draft. Remember the uproar when he was selected? I think teams almost always are drafting for need, short or long term. I think the clarification is, don’t reach and draft for need. (See 2nd round picks spent on Richards and Wilson as examples of mistakes in reaching while drafting for need. An adjoining question is was S really a need? Or, was BB looking for that S/LB hybrid to combat some of the modern offensive weapons. If he was he was reaching and looking in the wrong place)

    This leads me to the question, which has both been directly addressed and touched on in the mock draft picks most have been making here. I must be truthful I am a Pro game student, not a college game student. I know, heresy. Ironically I used to officiate basketball at the college level but wasn’t into college basketball either except to officiate. Be that as it may, what do we see as our needs in some type of priority? I fear that once I list them 10 minutes later I’ll change my mind, but here goes:

    LB quickness, speed and athleticism

    A hybrid edge rusher and OLB (Wllie McGinnest like)


    QB to groom

    Defensive secondary

    TE depth


    overall team speed and athleticism

    I don’t see WR as a need or that a spot even is open. Edelman, Cooks, Mitchell, Hogan, Britt, Dorsett, Amendola (hopefully) and probably 1 or 2 PS players I am missing. I believe Britt is in this year’s plans. I think the 2 year contract really was for him to acclimate last year and prove himself this year hopefully providing that big WR. Dorsett has a very favorable contract. There isn’t enough room on the team for these guys, never mind another. JE and DA’s age worries me. Mitchell’s knee even more so. What could be wrong with that knee in someone so young that kept him out the entire year? There was a OG from FL we drafted a few years and his knee forced him from the game shortly thereafter. What was his name?

    Now, if my mind doesn’t change too much I’ll eventually try to match some draftees to my listed needs.

  12. GM-in-Training says:

    I think the Pats have learned their lesson, and want CB 6’0″ and taller now. Sure, they’ve got the Jonathan Jones’ on the team who can play a role, but the top outside CB and their understudies really need to be able to handle lanky WR. Butler was exposed by those types of WR, and they’d shift the coverages around sometimes because of it. When a team had 3 tall WR, it created problems.

    Don’t bet me wrong. Pats WR still need low 3-cone times, straight line speed, and ball skills. They just also need to be able to cover elite tall WR.

    • GM-in-Training says:

      Correction: Pats CB still need low 3-cone times, good straight line speed, and good ball skills.

  13. kevan says:

    Jayden Samuels really caught my eye. I think he could be Hernandez 2.0 but a better runner. Kareem Martin sounds like a solid sign to me John. Pats need to resign Solder. Let dion Lewis walk sign burkhead. Cut gillislee draft another RB that can catch. I want to know who the smartest qbs in the draft are.

  14. John says:

    Not a fan of Hughes. I actually don’t think corner is going to be a high priority. I think Rowe, Gilmore, depth signees, later round DP’s, they will go with what they got. Maybe 3rd round being the highest (where they take one).

    1. Ronnie Harrison SAF
    2. Tim Settle DL
    2. Lorenzo Carter OLB/EDGE
    3. Oren Burks HYB

    Sign: Kyle Fuller CB, Kareem Martin DE

    • John says:

      Alternative/more realistic mock/where they take a corner:

      1. Tim Settle DL
      2. Justin Reid SAF
      2. Lorenzo Carter EDGE
      3. Darius Phillips CB

      Signees: Avery Williamson LB, Kyle Fuller CB, Marqise Lee WR, Branden Oliver RB

      • brandonmaxham says:

        I heard Preston Brown is interested in joining the Patriots if he doesn’t get the offer he wants from Buffalo would you take him over Williamson or get both? (if u can afford both )

  15. brandonmaxham says:

    a couple of possible overlooked people are Jordan Chunn and Brandon Silvers from Troy.
    Chunn is a big bruising back who could replace Gillislee if the Patriots want to replace him.
    Silvers is an accurate QB but did not throw many touchdowns .

  16. Stephen J says:

    The Pats seem to love those small RB’s like Danny Woodhead 5’8″ 195-204 lbs ran a 4.33; 3 cone 7.03.

    Dion Lewis 5’8″ 195 lbs 40 4.62; 6.90 3 cone.

    Could Louisiana Tech’s Boston Scott be the next 5’8″ 204 lbs RB on the Patriots radar.

    He has had 288 carries with 31 receptions with 1 fumble but 0 lost fumbles. As well as a 74.41 catch/reception percentage(43 targets/32 receptions)

    PFF had him as the highest graded Louisiana Tech player at 89.1.
    PFF also had him having 41 missed tackles and 698 yards after contact.

    He has been shown on film squatting 625 lbs.

    Mark Waldman has a clip of him receiving the hand off in the backfield 3-4 yards deep with a defender right on top of him and escaping then running for what looks like a 9 yard gain

    Then from Mick Nartin a bunch of clips highlighting some abilities

    He didn’t receive a combine invite so he isn’t attending this weeks events. I will be interested in his pro day to see how he matches to Dion Lewis and Danny Woodhead above.

    Now I have to more research to see how he is with pass blocking but this is another RB that seems to fit the Patriots mold.

  17. Stephen J says:

    Hughes was my favorite CB until coming across the Assault. Due to being charged with assault you can rest assured that he isn’t on the Patriots board at all. Robert Kraft has made it clear that anyone with those type of charges (domestic violence/assaults) will not play for the Patriots.

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