3. Rodney Hudson
For three seasons in a row now, Hudson has been stellar. Two of those seasons came in Kansas City, where Hudson developed into one of the best centers in the NFL.
Oakland needed a big contract to steal him from their division rival, but Hudson has so far been worth every penny. And he just turned 27 on July 12th (same birthday as Gabe), so he is right in the middle of his prime.
Having an elite center is quite the luxury to have. Like the quarterback, the center reads the defense and sets the protection, making adjustments as needed. They also have to pickup stunt blitzes or delayed blitzes coming up the middle, and countless other things defense tries to do to confuse the offensive line.
A center like Hudson — who has a high understanding of the game, and that is sound in both pass and run blocking, is crucial. He can do anything that is needed, and he does so at a high level.
On a final note, it still feels like Hudson is underrated. Centers don’t receive much love to begin with, but Hudson hasn’t received a Pro Bowl or any All-Pro honors, which is a crime. The PFWA honored him with an All-AFC award, but that’s his only accolade. With another strong season, hopefully he receives the praise he deserves.
– Nick Hjeltness