The Browns opened Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft by selecting T James Hudson in the fourth round (110th overall).
Here are five things to know about Cleveland's newest addition to the O-Line.
1. Hudson arrives in Cleveland after spending his final two collegiate seasons at Cincinnati. He didn't become a full-time starter until 2020, but he made an instant impact on the Bearcats' offense and earned First Team All-AAC honors in his first season on the field. Hudson transferred to Cincinnati in 2019 after spending his first two college seasons at Michigan, which leads us to our next thing to know…
2. Hudson originally began his college career as a defensive tackle, which is where he shined at Central Catholic High School in Toledo — yes, Hudson is an Ohio native. He originally committed to Kentucky after his sophomore season, but his recruitment stock skyrocketed in his junior year, and he later fielded offers from Alabama, Miami and several other big-name college football programs. He ultimately decided on Michigan and made his switch to the offensive line, playing at right tackle as a redshirt freshman in 2018.
3. The Browns believe Hudson can play multiple offensive line positions. Hudson is familiar with both right and left tackle, where he played in his two seasons at Cincinnati, and has never played guard, although Browns Vice President of Player Personnel Glenn Cook said they plan to give Hudson some practice in the interior, too. "He will start at tackle and will be cross-trained inside," Cook said, "but he is a tackle in terms of the depth chart."
4. The Browns could view Hudson as a possible replacement for former Browns swing tackle Kendall Lamm, who signed with the Tennessee Titans this offseason in free agency. Cleveland will return all of its offensive line starters from last season, so Hudson is set to compete for depth roles alongside Nick Harris, Chris Hubbard, Drew Forbes and Blake Hance, among other offensive lineman on the roster.
5. Hudson said he viewed Joe Thomas as one of his biggest role models when he switched from defensive tackle to offensive tackle. When he learned he'd need to make the switch, he Googled Thomas' name and watched highlight reels on YouTube to study his All-Pro techniques and blocking moves. "He was a very athletic tackle, like I am," Hudson said. "He goes all out every time he gets onto the field, and I feel like that relates to me."