Selected by New Orleans in the fifth round of the 1993 NFL Draft (137th overall), Hughes played for the Saints for four seasons from 1993-96. In 1993, he went to the Pro Bowl after his rookie season as a kick returner. On October 23, 1994 he set the NFL record for most kickoff return yards in a single game (304) and the most combined kickoff/punt return yards in a game (347). He also had two kickoff returns for touchdowns that same game which tied another NFL record. He totaled 116 punt returns for 1,060 yards (9.1 avg.) and two touchdowns, and added 229 kickoff returns for 5,717 yards (25.0 avg.) and three touchdowns. He was a three-time NFL Kickoff Return Yards Leader (1994, 1995 and 1996).