When the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Florida State C Rodney Hudson with the No. 56 pick yesterday, I immediately went to the best source of FSU coverage out there - Tomahawk Nation. Their fearless leader Bud Elliot was kind enough to give us a write up letting us know what to expect from Hudson. Please give Bud a thank you over at Tomahawk Nation when you get a chance.
Florida State's Rodney Hudson is a great college player. FSU had Tre Thomas and Walter Jones and people around the program say Hudson is on that level. I do not know if he will end up as good as those two Pro Bowlers (and Jones is a first ballot Hall of Famer), but as a college player, he was right there.
Hudson consistently plays with great effort. We attempt to grade the film and he never had a loaf. His technique and pad level are excellent.
Aside, from his effort, Rodney Hudson has two attributes that stand out.
First is his short area quickness. He is simply in the breastplate of the tackle before the defensive tackle can get out of his stance. This also helps him when pulling. He won't run a great 40yd but is agile and quick.
Hudson's other great attribute is his balance. He played in the 285-290ish pound range, but he uses it all. Many guys 30 pounds heavier don't play with the same force as Rodney because they get off balance. Hard to expound much more on his balance but FSU's offensive line coach, Rick Trickett, who is one of the best ever always raves about Hud's balance. He does not whiff and rarely lunges. He is also quite adept at cutting.
Hudson is also great at climbing to the second level and ia a great space player. FSU runs a lot of that Mike Shannahan zone from Denver and many big runs came off Hudson peeling off the double and cleaning the backer.
When FSU had 20 players suspended for a Bowl game in 2007, the freshman Hudson, who was not in the scandal, moved to left tackle, and against an SEC team and did not allow a sack. In pass protection, he slides very well in reaction to blitzers and is good but not great at anchoring.
If there was a concern for Hudson at the next level it is his frame. I'm not sure he can play at and maintain 300+ pounds. But coach Trickett identified this early and had him snapping at center on a daily basis for the last three years. He is not new to center. He won't beat a 320 nose tackle without getting into him quick, but each player has his flashes and flaws.
The Kansas City Chiefs are probably not worried about the weight. They took him to be a center who will be great at the initial double team and then climb to the next level.of backers and scrum.
Many thanks to Bud for the write up. Check out Tomahawk Nation for more on Rodney Hudson.