Combine Results

5.93 ?
  • 4.53 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 20 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 35.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 127.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.70 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.13 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

  • 5'10" Height
  • 30 7/8" Arm Length
  • 189LBS. Weight
  • 8 3/4" Hands


An all-state pick from Bern, North Carolina, Hughes signed on with home-state UNC for the 2015 season. He played in 11 games as a reserve that year, making 12 tackles and breaking up three passes. Hughes was suspended in October, however, for violating team rules after being part of an incident at a fraternity house. His time with the Tar Heels was over, so he attended Garden City Community College in 2016, earning national junior college All-American honors with 47 tackles, two interceptions, six pass breakups, and three return touchdowns. UCF Head Coach Scott Frost convinced Hughes to join UCF for the 2017 season, and his play was a big reason for the team's undefeated record. He started 12 of 13 contests, garnering first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors as a defensive back (44 tackles, four interceptions -- one returned for a touchdown, team-high 11 pass breakups) and second-team accolades as a returner (20 attempts, 635 yards, two touchdowns on kick returns; 13 attempts, 233 yards, one touchdown on punt returns).



A little short but stout and tough. Very physical from press. Gives opponents a rough ride out of their release. Won't just jam, looks to completely halt the route with his initial punch and aggression. Tracks and catches the football like a receiver. Ball skills include plus timing, soft hands and an ability to adjust body to make the catch. Plus short-area foot quickness to burst on ball and tremendous run-you-down speed on deep balls. Should be able to run with most every receiver in the league. Premium talent as a return man. Capable of making huge changes to field position and momentum. Eludes first tackler on punt returns and can change field position battle quickly. Downhill kick returner with speed to house it once he gets his crease.


Has played just two years of college football with just one season as a starter. Not as natural with mirror and match footwork as he will need to be on next level. Lacks height and gets high-pointed by capable wideouts with size. Plays too tall in his backpedal and from off coverage which slows transitions on the throw. Allows physical receivers to knock him off the top of the route. Needs more practice and game experience for improved pattern recognition. Coverage balance is hit-or-miss. Has room for improvement as a tackler.

Draft Projection

Round 1

Sources Tell Us

"I wish he would have stayed. I don't see him as a 'one' and I think he could have been with another year. He's just raw right now but he's got the ability to become a really tough ball challenger." -- NFC regional scout

NFL Comparison

Bradley Roby

Bottom Line

Hughes simply hasn't had the game experience he needs to put together the consistency in coverage that teams might like to see. He's a projection-based prospect who has shown twitch, ball production and toughness in a small sample size. Despite being a little short, he is likely to stay outside in coverage. While teams wait for him to gain coverage experience, they can certainly lean on his tremendous talents as a return man. Hughes has potential, but there is still work to be done in coverage.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster