The Cleveland Browns have inked half their draft class with the signing of James Hudson, the offensive tackle out of Cincinnati on Tuesday.
Hudson began his career at Michigan initially as a defensive tackle before switching to the other side of the ball. He made the decision to transfer to the Bearcats, where he only started 13 games as a result of sitting out a year while transferring.
Hudson acquitted himself well and showed a lot of fundamental skills that suggest he could transition effectively to the NFL while showcasing power and a mean streak. In many ways, he looks similar to this regime's first pick, Jedrick Wills, the team's starting left tackle.
Hudson now has to prove he can be the understudy to Wills while showing the potential to start down the road. He will be competing against Chris Hubbard, Alex Taylor and Greg Senat for the team's swing tackle role.
While Hudson may have a number of similarities to both Wills and Jack Conklin, the team's right tackle, who was a first team All-Pro in 2020, Hubbard was an integral player for the Browns in 2020 and Taylor, an undrafted free agent that almost made the 53-man roster last year, is enormous in terms of his length, standing 6'8" with 36 1/8" arms. A former basketball player at South Carolina State, Taylor improved quite a bit under the tutelage of offensive line coach Bill Callahan last year.
There may not be any drama for the starting five on the offensive line for the Browns, but the battle for what could be three or four spots behind them could go down to the wire.
Hudson joins Tony Fields, Richard LeCounte and Demetric Felton as the draft picks that have signed their rookie contracts.