The Kansas City Chiefs have added another competitor at cornerback by trading for former Minnesota Vikings first-round pick Mike Hughes, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Field Yates of ESPN tweeted the Chiefs will send their 2022 sixth-round pick to Minnesota for Hughes and the Vikings' 2022 seventh-round pick.
Hughes was the 30th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft following his junior season at the University of Central Florida, where he racked up 49 tackles and four interceptions in 13 games.
In three years with the Vikings, Hughes appeared in just 24 games with seven starts with two interceptions. Earlier in May, the Vikings declined Hughes' fifth-year option, meaning that he only has one more season remaining on his rookie contract.
Nick Jacobs of 41 Action News tweeted out his pre-draft report on Hughes coming into the 2018 draft showing why he liked the young cornerback in KC, citing his press-coverage jams, versatility, ball-tracking skills and tackling ability.
What does this mean for the Chiefs?
In a tweet about Hughes's pre-draft athletic profile, Kent Lee Platte (@mathbomb) described Hughes as "a reclamation project," and that seems about right. General manager Brett Veach is well-known for his tendencies to acquire formerly high-ranking talent for post-hype prices, and that's a strategy that doesn't bother me one bit. A former first-round pick to drop back a few spots at the end of next year's draft? Fine by me! But there is a drawback.
If this is the end of the Chiefs' cornerback room evaluation, I'll be disappointed. With a thin group starting with L'Jarius Sneed, Charvarius Ward and Rashad Fenton, expecting Hughes to compete is extremely reasonable. Expecting him to start and play at a high level is not. A similar assessment could be made for fellow former first-rounder Deandre Baker, who is recovering from a broken leg. The best (and possibly last) move the Chiefs should make at corner is to bring back former starting cornerback Bashaud Breeland for a third season. He'd return as the Chiefs' No. 1 cornerback and would knock everyone on the depth chart down one space for another year.
Matt Verderame of Fansided tweeted that the Hughes move "doesn't close the door on Bashaud Breeland going back to KC," which is good news for the Chiefs' defensive backfield.
If Breeland comes back to KC as the follow-up move to secure the secondary, the Hughes move is an extremely low-risk acquisition that fans should be happy to see the Chiefs take a shot on. If the backfield is now set in stone, the Chiefs' corners will still have some questions to answer in 2021.