In our latest Oakland Raiders season grades, we take a look at center Rodney Hudson, who was once again one of the better players in the league at his position.
In 2015, Reggie McKenzie and the Oakland Raiders made Rodney Hudson, who was 25 at the time, the highest paid center in the NFL. Hudson was signed to a 5 year $44.5 million contract after four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, and has since become a cornerstone of this roster.
It did not take Hudson long to make his presence felt in the Silver and Black, after the first few games into the 2015 season, it was evident as to why McKenzie signed this guy. Rodney Hudson was dominating defensive linemen, and really helped Derek Carr out by giving him the confidence that his A-Gaps were locked down, and no defender will make it through.
Looking back at four years worth of free agent signings, most would agree that Hudson was Reggie McKenzie’s best free agent signing.
Here is a look at his season in review, as well as his overall grade for 2018.
Rodney Hudson came into the 2018 season as one of the top-3 centers in the league. In 2017, Rodney Hudson gave up only one sack, which came in the last game of the season, a Week 17 game vs. the Los Angeles Chargers. If the course of Hudson’s first three seasons with Oakland, he gave up only two sacks.
The hope for 2018 was that Hudson would help get this unit back to its 2016 form, which was the best in the NFL.
Rodney Hudson finished the 2018 season by having one of his best seasons in the NFL. In 2018, he was called for only one penalty, which was the 3rd best in the league, and gave up no sacks. Hudson was one of four centers to not give up a sack this season.
Now, although Hudson played really well this season individually, the Oakland Raiders were one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL as a unit. The Raiders offensive linemen gave up 43 total sacks, which was the most in the NFL.
The Oakland Raiders have one of the highest paid offensive lines, as just between there guards and center, they will pay a total of $27.2 million in 2019, easily one of the most expensive interior offensive lines in the league. Although Gabe Jackson and Kelechi Osemele underperformed this season, Hudson did not.
In 2018, the only reliable lineman we had was our center, and with Rodney Hudson in the final season of his 5-year contract, Jon Gruden should lock up Hudson for the future. Hudson will continue to lead our offensive line and be the most reliable linemen in the NFL.