Mike Hughes is officially a Detroit Lion, and he’s ready for the opportunity to compete for a significant role.
Low on experience and play-making at the corneback position last season, the Detroit Lions agreed to terms with former first-round pick Mike Hughes earlier this week. On Wednesday, the team made the signing official.
Injuries impacted the first three seasons of his career with the Minnesota Vikings, but Hughes finally had a healthy season with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021 after being traded. He played all 17 regular season games, with one interception, 47 total tackles and four forced fumbles. He mostly played on the outside for the Chiefs, but when he was healthy with the Vikings he spent a good bit of time in the slot.
Even with how much time Hughes missed over his first three seasons (24 of 48 regular season games), it speaks volumes to Detroit’s lack of experience at the position that they have one other cornerback (Amani Oruwariye) with over 600 NFL snaps under his belt. Jeff Okudah and Jerry Jacobs are working their way back from major injuries to add further question marks, though progress reports on both have been good.
Mike Hughes is ready for opportunity to compete for a spot with the Lions, and play any role asked of him
As he put pen to paper on his one-year deal with the Lions, Hughes spoke to the local media on Wednesday.
In some light, as a former first-round pick on the fast track to being fully declared a bust, Hughes is a lot like Charles Harris. Harris of course had a breakthrough season last year with the Lions (7.5 sacks), while Hughes will benefit from the tutelage of Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant.
Via Kyle Meinke of MLive, Hughes spoke specifically about Glenn.
"I met with AG coming out of college when he was with New Orleans,” Hughes said on Wednesday afternoon. “I sat down with him at the combine, and I remember that conversation. We were going over some coverages and stuff. I liked the vibe. Here we are again — it’s the same vibe, too. He played ball and has a lot of experience, so I think he can get me to that level of competition I think I can play that. I think he can help me get there.”"
Primarily as a function of playing as much has ever has in a season, Hughes allowed a career-high five touchdown passes last season with Kansas City. But looking deeper, via Pro Football Reference, he allowed just 59 percent of the passes thrown his direction to be completed. Outside, in the slot or both, the Lions can certainly use someone who can shut down a portion of the opposing aerial attack like that.