Vikings' Mike Hughes shows he's ready to make impact now

A breakdown of the Minnesota Vikings' 2018 draft class and its progress after three weeks of training camp:

Mike Hughes, CB, first round: Hughes has earned something from Vikings coach Mike Zimmer not a lot of rookie cornerbacks experience: expansive praise over his early contributions. Minnesota is loaded at corner, and while it was anticipated that the UCF product would make his biggest impact on special teams as a rookie, Hughes has given the Vikings every reason to consider him for a sizable role in the secondary. Good performances in preseason games and an untimely injury for Mackensie Alexander (ankle) could further Hughes' time with the first-team defense, allowing him to continue his push toward earning the nickel corner job.

Brian O'Neill, OT, second round: Injuries across Minnesota's offensive line have forced O'Neill to expedite his process of getting NFL ready. He's taken a number of first-team reps at right tackle in place of Rashod Hill and could be a candidate to fill that job at some point this season. O'Neill didn't allow a sack, pressure, hit or hurry in 41 pass-blocking snaps during the first two preseason games.

Jalyn Holmes, DT, fourth round: As the Vikings look to build 3-technique depth behind Sheldon Richardson, Holmes has made strides in transitioning to life as a defensive tackle. His skills as a pass-rusher have helped him adapt to the speed of the game on the interior of the defensive line, and he's working to become a better run stopper in the process.

Tyler Conklin, TE, fifth round: Conklin has a ways to go. He spent camp working to become a better blocker and while he's showed impressive speed at times, the Central Michigan product hasn't been a factor offensively in preseason games. The next two weeks are important for him to show why he should get the nod as the No. 3 tight end.

Daniel Carlson, K, fifth round: Carlson closed the door on the kicking competition. After going 4-for-4 on extra points and 2-for-2 on field goals in Denver (including a 60-yarder), he looked sharp on kickoff duties against Jacksonville. Carlson's consistency has stood out since the time he arrived in the Twin Cities, allowing him to beat veteran Kai Forbath for the job three weeks into the preseason.

Colby Gossett, OG, sixth round: Gossett hasn't advanced beyond the third-team offense. As Minnesota's interior depth continues to shrink due to injuries, he's one of the few healthy reserve guards they have at their disposal.

Ade Aruna, DE, sixth round: Aruna's rookie season ended prematurely when he sustained a serious knee injury in the second preseason game and was placed on injured reserve.

Devante Downs, LB, seventh round: Minnesota doesn't have a ton of linebacker depth beyond Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks. Given how well Eric Wilson, Ben Gedeon and Antwione Williams have performed in the preseason, it may be difficult for Downs to crack the roster. He looks like a candidate for the practice squad.