Finding Broncos: Scouting Cincinnati OT James Hudson

Finding Broncos scouts the 2021 NFL draft class to find the best Mile High fits. What's the scoop on James Hudson and how would he fit in Denver?
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Welcome to Finding Broncos, our annual prospect-by-prospect series deep-diving on the coming NFL draft class. The scouting continues with Cincinnati offensive tackle James Hudson, a prospect who fits a Denver Broncos' roster need. But would he fit? 

Measurables

  • Height: 6-foot-4
  • Weight: 315 pounds

Pros

  • His attitude and demeanor are the first attributes that jump out
  • Plays like he wants to beat you up for 60 minutes
  • Moves really well when driving forward and attacking outside, but that is also the most opportune time to beat him
  • The term 'dancing bear' is apt here as he has such light feet that can get him ahead in his pass sets early
  • A former D-lineman and it shows with his understanding of pass-rushing attacks and the setups
  • Good enough length for the tackle position
  • Teams could keep him outside despite being relatively 'short'
  • Plenty of power
  • When he strikes with precision, it jolts his defender and brings him to a halt
  • Knows how to deal with power by dropping his anchor and absorbing it with good technique,  redirecting it back at his opponent

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Cons

  • His movement skills are good but he tends to get his shoulders ahead of his feet
  • Can be easy for opponents to blow past because his center of gravity is very off
  • He is still quite raw in multiple aspects of being a tackle, including using proper hand technique and a consistent drive to better his positioning
  • Being so raw at the position makes it easy to teach him to play the left or right side, but teams will want to focus on one side to develop the technique initially
  • His attitude and ferocity on the field can get him into trouble at times, which will need to be kept in check by NFL coaches

Overview

Hudson is an extremely raw offensive tackle that is new to the position but has displayed many of those traits that NFL teams want to see. With his power and movement skills, he can really be a scheme-versatile tackle, once he gets the technique down pat. 

It may take him a year or two on the bench press to get everything put together, but if he does, he could be great. When you find a developmental tackle prospect with as much upside as there is with Hudson, you’re looking at a Day 2 pick.

Fit with Broncos

The best way to describe Hudson's potential fit in Denver would be 'ideal'. Having him work under Mike Munchak to develop would obviously be for the best. 

Hudson has the scheme versatility to survive through any potential coaching changes that may come in the future. The only concern would be, if Munchak is a casualty of a future coaching change and is jettisoned, it could harm Hudson's development as it is best for the tackle to have consistency from his primary teacher for the first couple of years.

Grade: Round 3

Where he Goes: Round 3


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