James Hudson NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Cleveland Browns OT

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IMay 1, 2021

National Team offensive lineman James Hudson III of Cincinnati (55) blocks during the first half of the NCAA college football Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)
Rusty Costanza/Associated Press

 6'4 3/4"



—Solid functional athletic ability, quickness and speed

—Fluid mover on his climb to the second level, pulling inside and leading around the edge

—Impressive grip strength to control, steer and torque smaller defenders off balance

—Looks to impose his will and has a flair for the highlight-reel finish

—Silky smooth vertical set with plenty of range to intersect Wide 9 rushers off the edge

—Showed some variety in his pass sets (vertical, jump, 45) to mix up the look he gives pass-rushers

—Flashes a potent two-handed strike and snatch/trap technique to create and take away leverage in pass protection

—Shows the spatial awareness and vision to pass off simple stunts while maintaining levels with the guard


—Below-average play strength, needs to continue to develop posterior strength and add quality weight to his frame

—Unrefined run blocker with choppy, rushed feet out of his stance and a tendency to lean into contact

—Low hand carriage in pass protection that causes him to be late and give up his chest to speed to power rushes

—Inconsistent snap timing that too often results in being late or early out of his stance

—Tends to drift and overset against tightly aligned rushers that use hesitations and stutters, creating a soft inside shoulder

—Vulnerable to late inside counters at the top of the QB's drop, needs to be more deliberate finishing rushers up the arc and not allowing late leakage back inside


—11-game starter

—First-team All-AAC



—Began his career at Michigan as a defensive tackle, redshirted his freshman year to convert to the O-line and played snaps at right tackle as a redshirt freshman before transferring to Cincinnati, citing a mental health issue

—After sitting out a season because of the transfer rules, Hudson returned for the bowl game in 2019 and finished with 12 career starts

—Will turn 22 years old on May 13



Hudson is a fluid mover with a nasty play demeanor and flashes of impressive grip strength. He is still new to the offensive line position, inexperienced and too raw in his technique to be counted on as a reliable starter right away.

However, he has flashes that showcase legit talent worth developing and adding to the right situation where he can focus on learning the nuances of the position, add some tools to his toolbox and gain functional strength in his lower half. Hudson projects as a high-end developmental tackle with the traits and film to warrant a flier on Day 3.

GRADE: 6.9/10 (Round 5)



PRO COMPARISON: Desmond Harrison


Written by B/R NFL Scout Brandon Thorn


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