Vikings Draft 2021: Four-round mock draft after big free agency signings

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Trey Sermon
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Trey Sermon /
3 of 8
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) James Hudson /

Third Round (No. 79 overall)

James Hudson – OT (Cincinnati)

With the release of Riley Reiff earlier this month, an offensive tackle quickly rose up the Vikings’ list of needs. While they haven’t come out and said it outright, it seems like Ezra Cleveland could be Minnesota’s new starter at left tackle.

The Vikings did bring back Rashod Hill this year, which was a solid move since he provides depth at both tackle positions, but they still need one more quality backup on the roster. Minnesota could use one of their third-round picks to address this need and a prospect who would make sense would be James Hudson out of Cincinnati.

Hudson has very good size (6-foot-5 and 310 pounds) and he plays with a mean streak. He has nice long arms and plenty of strength to plant defenders into the turf.

While there’s plenty to love about Hudson, there are also concerns. He is a former defensive tackle, which helps him from a pure aggression perspective and it gives him better knowledge of what his opponents might be doing, it still makes him very raw as an offensive tackle. His technique needs refinement and he also lacks overall experience since he’s been a full-time starter at the position for just one season.

Hudson is a nice-looking prospect who will need to spend some time with the coaches. He can provide solid depth at left tackle and he has the upside to develop into a player who could compete for the starting job if Cleveland fails to take it over and make it his own.