5-11/181 Oregon State
Pros: Has decent speed and hips. Has potential as a press corner. Often left on an island and is rarely out of position to give up to the big play. Active and willing in run support.
Cons: Not cut for man coverage. Is a drag-down tackler. Doesn't do a good job tracking the ball in the air.
Overview: Hughes is a guy that doesn't give up the big play, but doesn't make it either. Doesn't have ideal ball skills. Doesn't really do anything particularly well, but was a solid No. 2 corner at the collegiate level.
NFL Forecast: I see Hughes might become a decent No. 3 or No. 4 cornerback, but lacks the upside to start. He'll have to impact early on special teams. Could potentially play in either man or zone coverage, but lacks the hips and/or ball skills to really excel at either. He's really just a guy that can potentially help a team's depth but that's about it.
ATL Forecast: Hughes would be hard-pressed to make the Falcons roster, especially as he'd struggle to leap frog guys like Brent Grimes and Hutchins. At this point, unless he stars on special teams, would be hard-pressed to make the roster even over David Irons. You would expect a career similar to Irons, who has done very little on defense in two seasons.
Value: A late round pick that might be a decent sixth round option, but I'd probably take him in the seventh round.
Scouting Reports of cornerbacks in the 2009 NFL draft.
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