Mike Hughes, Vikings Reportedly Agree to 4-Year Rookie Contract

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2018

Mike Hughes poses for photos at a news conference introducing him as the Minnesota Vikings' selection from the first round of the NFL football draft Friday, April 27, 2018, in Eagan, Minn. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)
Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

Mike Hughes is officially a member of the Minnesota Vikings

On Thursday, the 30th overall pick reportedly agreed to terms on his rookie deal with the team, as Tom Peliserro of NFL Network explained:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Another first-round contract done: the #Vikings have an agreement in principle with top pick Mike Hughes, source said. Hughes had a productive spring and will be in training camp on time to compete for nickel and punt return duties. Rookies report Tuesday.

Standard rookie deals for first-round picks are for four years with a fifth-year option.

The 5'10", 189-pound Hughes was the third cornerback taken in the 2018 draft.

Hughes started his career at North Carolina but left the Tar Heels after being suspended following misdemeanor assault charges. He transferred to Garden City Community College before ultimately winding up at UCF.

In his lone season with the team, he helped the Knights to a perfect 13-0 record with a victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl. The defensive back recorded 49 total tackles, 11 passes defended, four interceptions, one forced fumble and one touchdown.

Not only was Hughes an impact player on the Knights defense, he was also a game-changer on special teams. He averaged 34 yards per return on kickoffs while taking two back to the house, and he also added 17.8 yards on punt returns and added another score.

That standout season earned him All-AAC first team honors—and ultimately led to him having his name called in the first round of the draft.

Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer noted on draft night that Hughes' versatility played a big factor in the team drafting him:

"We're going to mature him into being a full-time player. I don't know how soon that will be, but he's got the traits we're looking for. We feel like he can play inside or outside as a corner.

"We have an understanding of exactly what we're looking for, and I do think the punt return and the kick return played a big part of it. We weren't as explosive in our return game as we wanted to be last year. This kid will help us in all phases of special teams."

Last season, the Vikings made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game behind their top-ranked defense, that included the No. 2 pass defense. Adding a playmaker like Hughes should only make an already talented secondary even better.