Exhibits an impressive first step off the snap in the pass game as well, quickly getting his hands up and extending his arms into blocks. Plays with natural leverage and routinely is able to beat opposing linemen to their spot — even vs. explosive one-gappers — and get under their pad level at the point. However, isn’t as polished as a technician as many are making him out to be. Has a tendency to get a bit overextended with his footwork and will lunge into blocks bending at the waist, which causes him to lose his base initially and can get jolted on contact. But, does a nice job quickly regaining his balance, sinking his hips and achieving the leverage needed to anchor.
Exhibits impressive change of direction skills and lateral agility for the position. Displays the ability to cleanly slide his feet and mirror through contact, and possesses impressive range when asked to redirect and pick up a blitzing backer. Demonstrates heavier hands than given credit for as well and can really stick to blocks inside.
Impression: Can be bullied at times initially off the snap, but regains his balance well and looks like a potential starter in a zone-blocking scheme at the next level."
Hudson was just as good as a senior, drawing one flag all season and becoming just the 11th player in ACC history to win his second Jacobs' Blocking Trophy.
Despite his hype, Hudson might not be the NFL prospect that his All-American career at Florida State would seem to forecast. At only 6-3, 285 pounds, Hudson is well-suited to Florida State's wide-open offense, which places a premium on athletic and quick offensive linemen, rather than blockers with size and/or strength. Hudson's limited frame might mean he'll be asked to move inside to center. Hudson has experience at center if he is asked to make the transition. His 47 career starts for the Seminoles all came at guard, but Hudson did see time at center and even left tackle. With his agility, balance and intelligence, he's capable of handling any of the three interior positions and could be a star if placed into a zone-blocking offense.
Pass Blocking: Quick out of his stance. Good lateral agility to remain squarely in front of his assignment. Strong, active hands to latch on and ride the defender. Despite his natural leverage advantage, has a tendency to bend at the waist and lean into defenders. Senses when his opponent is leaning and has the leverage and core strength to turn and knock him to the ground. Good, not great agility for the quick cut-block. Cognizant, aggressive blocker that quickly reacts to stunts. Doesn't back down from a fight against much bigger defenders.
Run Blocking: Provides an initial pop at the line of scrimmage, but doesn't have the mass or power to knock NFL defenders off the ball. Relies on his quickness and technique to turn and seal off defenders from the hole. Works hard to sustain. Isn't incredibly fluid getting to and blocking at the second level.
Pulling/Trapping: Good trap blocker. Has a burst off the snap. Good discipline to allow the defender inside sufficiently, before turning and controlling him for the effective trap. Good initial quickness off the snap to get out and pull. Has good straight-line speed to lead the back, but struggles re-directing in the open field. Only average body control and balance when blocking on the move. Spends too much time on the ground.
Initial Quickness: One of his better attributes. Good initial quickness off the snap to control bigger, stronger defenders. Can match the defender in pass protection, showing good lateral agility and balance, as well as the active, strong hands to latch on and sustain. Relies on his quickness and good technique to be effective in the running game. Consistently beats his opponent to the spot as an inline blocker, though his lack of power and size allows him only a few seconds before he loses control of his assignment.
Downfield: Gets to the second level quickly, but doesn't possess elite balance to re-direct. Will lunge when working in space, resulting in some impressive knockdown blocks, but also in a few whiffs. To his credit, is never on the ground for very long. Plays to and sometimes through the whistle, flashing a nasty demeanor. Hustles downfield.
Intangibles: Highly respected by coaches, teammates and fans. Had 47 career starts. Highly touted prep prospect signed with FSU over Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, West Virginia and South Florida among others.
Movement: Hudson does not have great speed but has a quick first step and short area burst. His awareness allows him to get a good jump off the line and his hands inside the defender. Hudson has the balance and quickness to effectively climb to the 2nd level and seal. His biggest advantage is his leverage and balance which helps him overcome some of this his size concerns.
Pass Blocking: Possessing a natural bend allows Hudson to anchor on contact. His bend helps him keep his pad level low and maintain leverage. Hudson has a strong lower half and anchors on contact. After the initial contact, Hudson is able to remain balanced limiting the defenders push on the pocket. His quick feet help him slide and mirror the potential pass rush. Hudson's good awareness can be contributed to his smarts and the fact that he keeps his head on a swivel. He is rarely out of position and routinely picks up the correct threat.
Quickness: Hudson has the ability to quickly go from stance to set giving him an advantage over his opponent. He also excels at getting down the line and across the face of the defender limiting pocket penetration. Hudson's quickness off the football allows him to get his hands up and inside the defender. This is important because Hudson lacks ideal strength and size. His game is dependent on getting leverage and turning the defender from the play.
Run Blocking: Driving defenders off the line of scrimmage will never be a strong point of Hudson's game. Where he is effective is getting inside hands and sealing defenders from the play. He has heavy hand which allows him to control the defender and turn them. His ability to Velcro to a player and control them opens running lanes.
Strength: Hudson's strength comes from his heavy hands. He is someone that relies on getting his hands on a defender and remaining engaged. The defensive players struggle to disengage and get to the ball carrier because of Hudson's ability to Velcro. While watching Hudson play you will rarely see him push the defender off the line which can be attributed to his lack of ideal bulk.
Technique: Having sound and proper technique is the key to Hudson's success. I mentioned that he possesses less than idea bulk and strength which means he relies heavily on technique. Getting off the ball quickly, getting inside hands, and remaining balanced is the only way Hudson will be effective in the NFL. Luckily, Hudson is consistent with his technique and is rarely out of position.
Games Viewed: Florida, Senior Bowl, Miami, UNC '09
Final Word: Hudson has a bright future in the NFL but he needs to land on a team that will utilize his skill set. He is not the ideal candidate to land with a power running team. Hudson would fit with a team that employs a zone scheme that will allow him to engage and turn the defender. He has the versatility to play either guard or center but he may be more valuable at the center position. His football IQ and solid technique is what will make him a successful pro."
Hudson holds great versatility.
He ultimately selected to play for Bobby Bowden, rather than going to West Virginia, who was recruiting him heavily for their zone blocking scheme. Hudson played left tackle, left guard, and center while at Florida State, showing his excellent versatility.
The more I watch Rodney Hudson play, the more I can appreciate the impact he made for the Seminoles. Hudson is very strong for his size, and is also very quick. While he struggled with bigger nose tackles, and run stuffing defensive tackles, he was extremely effective in pass protection. Even when he did struggle, he found a way to beat the defender with his mind. He used his excellent intelligence to notice lineman trends, and found ways to shut them down. He comes up out of his stance quickly, and mirrors his defender, and gets to the second level quickly in the run game against smaller lineman. He has excellent intangibles and is best noted for his exceptional leadership skills. Hudson does a nice job anchoring down, and keeping his hands on the inside of his defender.
Hudson’s playing weight at Florida State was a between 275 and 285 for his four seasons. But he put on a bit more weight and showed up at the Senior Bowl at a very fit 291, and showed that he didn’t lose his speed. Still, 291 pounds for a guard is a bit worrisome and he may fit into the zone blocking scheme a bit more, unless he makes the full time switch to center, which he has experience playing. While he’s strong for his size, he doesn’t have elite strength, and will struggle against bigger NFL defensive tackles, but he does have the speed to keep up with the quicker penetrating defenders. Hudson doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses, however, and that’s what makes him so special.
Hudson has first round talent, but the guard/center position isn’t one that’s drafted highly. There are a number of teams who could groom him to play center full time, including Seattle, Kansas City, New Orleans, and Chicago (behind aging Kruetz). But he may slip to the second round to a team like Cincinnati, Buffalo, Arizona, and Washington.
NFL Comparison: Ryan Kalil"
Positive: Undersized yet athletic lineman who enters the draft as the top zone blocker. Built low to the ground, plays with good pad level, and gets underneath defenders blocking with leverage. Quickly gets his hands into opponents, stays with the action, and displays outstanding movement skills. Quick out to the second level, smooth moving about the field, and easily hits moving targets. Explodes off the snap and is a solid position blocker who seals opponents from the action.
Negative: Tends to get tall as the play proceeds. Lacks strength at the point of attack and rarely moves opponents off the ball or finishes blocks. Seems like he's holding on for dear life at times.
Analysis: Hudson has been a sensational lineman on the college level, and despite his lack of natural size and bulk, he projects well as a zone blocking lineman in the NFL. His limited size may force a move to center, but Hudson will succeed in the right system."
Negatives: Serious size limitations, undersized, needs to bulk up 12-20 lbs. to remain at Guard... Needs to improve overall playing strength a little... Doesn't possess a great anchor and will get pushed back at times... Bends at the waist, leans into some blocks... Plays with his head down too much, allows taller defenders over the top... Doesn't hold up especially well to bull rushers... Missed a couple games in 2009 with knee injury."
Weaknesses: Will never be an elite drive blocker. Not suitable for some run-heavy, power-running offenses. Average balance. Will not drive huge defenders out of the hole. Sometimes locks on too high when run blocking and, lets defenders thus slip his blocks. Can be manhandled by elite NFL DTs in pass pro, and driven back by a strong bull rush."
Hudson's biggest liability is his size. Most NFL teams want a guard closer to 300 pounds. Hudson does have great footwork and is young enough to add some weight without losing any speed, but he needs to prove that at the NFL combine.
Last year when Hudson was thinking about entering the NFL Draft, most agreed that he was the best junior guard in college football. That has continued into his senior season and Hudson should be the first guard taken in April. If Hudson can prove that he can gain some weight without any negative effects, he could very easily move into the first round. Even if Hudson does not gain weight before the draft, he is still the most talented guard in this class."
Rodney Hudson has been one of the most athletic High Caliber Centers in this Draft Class: His Lateral Agility and Flanking Speed in college were absolutely phenomenal.
However, the 15 pounds he'd added for The Combine did not look good on him, and it seems to me that his "40" time, as well as the more telling Vertical Leap, Shuttle, and Cone times, suffered. He looked absolutely awful, and he performed horribly. That athleticism is now in question.
He has never shown the greatest Power in the Run Game, nor the most impressive Strength on the Pass Rush.
And I think he's simply too short to play the position effectively.
His lack of height would be less of a disadvantage at Center, and his athleticism ~ if it returns ~ would compensate for his mediocre Strength. Indeed, I consider the move to Center to be so clearly to the advantage of whoever drafts him that I'm going to proceed under the assumption that it happens.
Even so, I now question whether he's even got the frame to add enough weight ~ good weight ~ to compete at the next level. And yet he's still the top rated Center, projected for the early 2nd Round!!
As always, the preceding thoughts were regurgitated, derivative tripe, adding no value whatsoever, while in fact obliterating intelligent thought and offending the spirit of all decent men. You are now stupider for having read it, and are encouraged, in the strongest possible language, never to expose your eyes to this Site again.