James Hudson 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Name: James Hudson 

Position: Offensive Tackle

College: Cincinnati

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 313 lbs

Overall Rank: No. 53 overall

Position Rank: OT8

Strengths: Hudson is a former defensive end and highly-ranked recruit that transferred to Cincinnati from the Michigan program. He plays the position like an above-average athlete and displays really impressive footwork in space. Hudson has good overall play strength and will latch on in the run game as a lead blocker out on the edge. He understands angles well and can track defenders in space, using a patient approach that allows windows for the running back. Hudson has an excellent overall frame that can carry a little more weight if needed but is ideally suited for an outside zone scheme. He has the needed mobility in all lower-half joints and is able to comfortably sink in pass protection and mirror lateral speed.

Weaknesses: Every single one of Hudson’s weaknesses can be directly tied to a lack of time and development at the position. Quite frankly, he’s remarkably raw and will need to have his pass protection technique essentially re-taught. Some NFL teams will love that challenge while others may be put off by the type of draft capital they’ll have to spend to get a project. The hand technique, particularly in pass protection, is really unrefined and he’s too often striking with both hands unnecessarily, causing some lunging and balance issues. Additionally, the two-handed strikes cause his outside knee to flare and his hip to open, creating a soft edge that can be easily exploited if he doesn’t land his strikes. Hudson has won by being an instinctual athlete and typically being significantly better of an athlete than the competition. That plan won’t work in the NFL and he may see some ugly losses early. If an NFL team can look beyond that, they could wind up with a steal. 

What I Love: Major upside at the position and could become a starting tackle in a year or two with a little more time and technical refinement. 

NFL Comparison: Dion Dawkins

Grade: 80/100

Position Specific Traits:
(key: +, ++, +++ positive scale | -, - -, - - - negative scale)

Agility: +++
Footwork: ++
Length: +
Run Blocking: +++
Pass Blocking: +
Strength: +