The Browns on Saturday selected Cincinnati T James Hudson in the fourth round with the No. 110 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Hudson, a Toledo native who began his college career as a defensive lineman at Michigan, started 10 games this past season for the Bearcats, earning first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors and an invite to the Senior Bowl.
"Really excited to get James where we got him," Browns VP of Player Personnel Glenn Cook said. "I think we went to bed last night hoping that he would be there at this spot."
Hudson redshirted his first season with the Wolverines as he converted from the defensive line to the offensive line. He appeared in two games in 2018, which would end up being his final season with Michigan. He sat out almost all of 2019 before taking on a full-time role in 2020.
Hudson was a key member of one of the nation's best offensive lines. The Bearcats averaged 5.8 yards per carry and allowed just nine sacks all season.
"I used to always joke with my teammates at Michigan I could be an NFL offensive lineman when I was on the defensive line," Hudson said. "They always told me be careful what you wish for because I could see it, too."
Hudson will begin his Browns career as a tackle but could potentially get some exposure to guard, Cook said.
"I am pretty open to playing guard," Hudson said. "It is not that much of a difference, just a slight difference. It should not be a problem for me to get used to it."
Hudson impressed at the Senior Bowl and was considered a "high ceiling" prospect by NFL.com's Lance Zierlein, who wrote Hudson is "raw but athletic with big, strong hands and the potential to get substantially better with additional technique and strength training."
"He is still developing, which is also intriguing for us," Cook said. "But just the natural movements, and just some of his innate foot speed and agility it is going to be exciting to see how he progresses over the next couple of years."
Hudson is the fourth player to join the Browns through the 2021 NFL Draft. Northwestern CB Greg Newsome (1st Round, No. 26) was selected Thursday and LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (2nd round, No. 52) and WR Anthony Schwartz (3rd Round, No. 91) were added to the roster Friday.
"It warms my heart to know that I am only going to be an hour and a half away from home," Hudson said. "My family is going to be able to come see me whenever they want to and that is a blessing. I am excited to put on for the state of Ohio."
The Browns hold five more picks on Day 3, including another fourth-rounder (132), two fifth-rounders (153, 169), and a sixth (211).