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Packers bringing in UCF cornerback Mike Hughes for visit, per report

Green Bay’s interest in Hughes could have ripple effects for their draft.

Central Florida v SMU
Mike Hughes (No. 19) will reportedly visit the Packers and could boost their needy cornerback group.
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

With cornerback topping the Packers list of draft needs, Green Bay will reportedly have Central Florida cornerback Mike Hughes in for a pre-draft visit. Long-time draft analyst Tony Pauline reported the visit Thursday after Hughes’ showing at his pro day.

Hughes started his career at North Carolina before transferring to Central Florida where he shined last season as a dynamic cover corner, posting four interceptions with a pick-six. The 5’10 189-pound Hughes also returned two punts and a kick for scores, underscoring his big-play ability.

Green Bay’s interest in Hughes could mean more than just a possible pick at 14 or 45, as Hughes is seen as likely to go late first or early second. The Packers have traditionally preferred corners 5-foot-10.5’ or taller, but Hughes measured in just a shade over 5-foot-10 at the combine.

Given the limited number of pre-draft visits team have, general manager Brian Gutekunst and the front office staff would be unlikely to waste time with a player who doesn’t fit their player model. If they’re willing to loosen the height profile, that could bring players like Louisville’s Jaire Alexander or LSU’s Dante Jackson under consideration, deepening the draft pool of cornerbacks.

Hughes, along with Alexander and Jackson, all fit the non-height numbers Green Bay preferred under Ted Thompson. But it’s worth noting those preferences were for Dom Capers and his defense. If, for example, Pettine will allow Kevin King to travel with No. 1 receivers and Tramon Williams handle No. 2’s, a new cornerback in the draft could man the slot where smaller players have traditionally excelled.

It’s just one visit, and could be an aberration, an exception made for a player the team particularly likes. But even just that represents its own kind of change and offers a reminder the Packers are under new management.