If the name Tommy Hudson sounds unfamiliar to you, then you would be in good company with many NFL executives prior to the 2020 NFL Draft.
It’s not that Hudson was not worth any attention, but rather that many had been led to believe he did not plan to pursue a future in the NFL and would instead train to become a Navy SEAL. That turned out not to be the case, and Hudson, having just graduated Arizona State, had to make up time to get himself a shot at his dream of playing in the NFL.
Fortunately for him, he was able to turn enough heads, even if it was accidental of sorts by scouts looking at film of his teammate at ASU Brandon Aiyuk, to earn a spot on the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted rookie.
He has seen minimal snaps as an active roster member and has spent the majority of his career on the practice squad, but now having a shot with the Denver Broncos, he will need to prove himself as a true blocking tight end to earn a spot on the final roster.
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 255 pounds
Arm Length: N/A | Vertical: N/A | 40-yard dash: 4.97 seconds
Age: 26 | Experience: Third season
Hudson did not play in the 2022 season for the Titans, having been placed on injured reserve before the start of the season and waived later that October.
In 2021, however, he appeared in four games hauling in six catches for 31 yards.
Broncos tight end Tommy Hudson’s 2023 outlook
Hudson’s roster chances will hedge on him being an aggressive blocking tight end, especially in the run game, and that is one of the parts of his game that got him noticed in the past.
He has size and aggression creating space, and while he’ll likely never make any highlight reel catches, he can make room for some highlight reel runs. His biggest hurdle to climb will be standing out among the other four tight ends on the roster in front of him.
While he may have some blocking abilities that they lack, he will still have to prove that it is enough of a difference to take a roster spot from another offensive lineman or potential depth piece at tight end with more experience.
The Broncos currently have Greg Dulcich, Albert Okwuegbunam, Adam Trautman, and Chris Manhertz on the roster along with Hudson.
Dulcich has the makings of a star in the league, Trautman has experience playing under Sean Payton, Manhertz is a seasoned vet as well, and Albert O may be the one who should feel the most nervous, but he, too, has shown abilities worthy of a roster spot in the past (even if wildly inconsistent).
Hudson, though, could show enough as a blocker to make Sean Payton take a chance on him. He showed enough at the minicamp last month to warrant a shot at the active roster, so Payton and staff clearly saw something in him. And anyone who entertained the idea of becoming a Navy SEAL clearly has no issue putting in serious work. Yet, the uphill battle he faces is a steep one.
The way things currently look, his best shot appears to be landing a gig on the practice squad or perhaps becoming a valuable special teams contributor.