Hughes is somebody who improved massively over his junior year, going from a project with size and athleticism to much more of a finished product. Now, don't get me wrong, he still has plenty of work to do. But at the same time, he has developed enough that he could make a push for early playing time that didn't seem possible a year ago.
The No. 1 thing you like to see out of bigger guys is simple: aggression. And Hughes has that in spades. When he runs out of people to hit, he looks around for more. On multiple plays when I saw him in person, he helped the quarterback extend a pass play when the quarterback rolled out by coming off his man and chipping a defender in pursuit, flat-backing the player both times.
Run blocking is his strength. He fires off the ball low and hard and often capsizes his defender before moving on to the next level. He uses his hands well, and does a great job of using them to push a defender off his body (and often to the ground). Hughes played with Darius James at Harker Heights, with the team opting to run, run and run some more behind its two mammoth linemen.
Of course, that made Hughes's pass blocking more of a question because he didn't have as much experience on that end. That was, at least, until he went to the Semper Fi bowl and dominated all the defensive linemen in attendance, looking like a pure left tackle prospect.
Hughes is a high-effort guy, and will work to make himself better, and the fact that he enrolled early can only help him maintain his rapid climb. Because there just aren't a lot of 6-7, athletic, strong and mean guys out there.