2011 Draft Profiles: OG – Rodney Hudson

Rodney Hudson

College:  Florida State

Age:  21 Years Old

Experience:  Senior (4 years)

Starts at C:  0 games

Starts at OG:  47 games

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Height:  6 feet 2 inches

Weight:  299 lbs.

Arm Length:  32.50 inches

Hand Width:  9.38 inches

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Projection:  Offensive Guard/Center

Projected Round:  1st – 2nd Rounds

Combine Results (Pro Day Results)

40 Yard Dash:  5.31 seconds

3-Cone Drill:  8.03 seconds

20-Yard Shuttle:  4.96 seconds

Bench Press:  27 reps

Vertical Jump:  25.5 inches

Broad Jump:  95 inches

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Speed: Like a number of other top guard prospects, Hudson ran a very respectable 40 yard dash. This corresponds with scouting reports which indicate that while Hudson has “good enough” speed to get down field, he does not have great speed and will not set the world on fire with his quickness. He is effective blocking down field though, and shows a propensity for getting off the line first on either side of the ball without getting penalized.  

Agility: Given Hudson’s rather small stature and sub-300 physique, some of the most surprising results of the Combine times centered around Hudson’s agility. His 8 second 3-cone drill in particular was exceptionally lack luster, putting him nearly a full second behind some of the top linemen in this years draft. While interior linemen are not specifically known for their nimble ways, it is important to note that Hudson was the only sub-300 lineman to post a 8 second plus time. As for Hudson’s short shuttle time, it was also not all that inspiring.  He made it just under 5 seconds, and the combination of these two poor performances indicate a rather serious inability to change directions or cutback with any kind of speed or strength. Again, for an interior lineman this is less of a problem, but given the degree to which he underperformed it remains very surprising given the amount he dominated in college.

Experience: Hudson is a very experienced interior lineman starting 47 games at guard during his career. He has not had any experience starting at center, but as taken some snaps there during his collegiate career. He is generally well regarded as a center prospect. This stems in large part to the respect given to his blocking prowess while displaying a rather high intelligence level both on and off the field. Where Hudson ends up will depend in large part on the team he ends up with. While Hudson was not in the ACC, Big 12, or Big 10, he played in such a dominant way against the, “good but not great,” ACC to earn the Jacobs Blocking Trophy in 2010 which is awarded to the best offensive lineman in the country.

Size/Build: Hudson’s size and build could end up being key to his availability for the Colts in the draft. Hudson lacks the quality size that is becoming a necessity league-wide for lineman, and while having a solid build, he is much more stocky than would generally be liked. The Colts — despite having bulked up their line a bit in recent years — still have no problems with sub-300 guards/centers. In fact, the Colts’ top 2 centers, Jeff Saturday and Jamey Richard, are a very similar build to Hudson at just over 6 feet tall and weighing less than 300 pounds. What may cause some problems, though, is the marginal agility results Hudson put up for his size. Between the Senior Bowl and the Combine, Hudson put on 10 pounds, but it remains to be seen if he can maintain that weight.

Pass Blocking: Hudson is considered to be an exceptional pass blocker with a keen eye for defensive schemes and a good reaction to the snap. He gets good marks in scouting reports for his agility despite his performance at the Combine, and is noted for his ability to stay with defensive lineman moving laterally to keep himself between the defender and the quarterback. Hudson is also given significant praise for being able to use his hands to hold onto a defender and exert a good amount of control. Despite generally being very technically sound, Hudson does show a slight wrinkle in his technique by bending at the waist, giving up natural leverage and exposing himself to mistakes by savvy linemen. Hudson has acceptable arm and leg strength, but he struggles at times to maintain quality blocks when the play takes more than a few seconds to develop.

Run Blocking: Hudson is not as good of a run blocker, and won’t be someone who can routinely pave the way for running backs. That said, Hudson is more than adequate as a run blocker. His quick reaction to the snap allows him to hit defensive lineman quickly before they are centered and have a good footing to resist that kind of hit. Hudson shows good drive and desire to do his best. He does not have the bulk or physical gifts to force defenders to move in the running game, but he is generally technically sound enough to let his lack of physicality not be a major negative. As with pass blocking, prolonged plays do not go all that well for Hudson. The longer a physical DT has to work on Hudson, the more likely that brawn will overpower technique.

Health: Hudson is relatively healthy, but missed the final 2 games of the 2009 season with an ankle injury. He has not had any other serious medical issues, and was able to fully participate in the NFL combine.

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OVERVIEW: Hudson had been getting quite a lot of play as a first round prospect but has recently fallen into the mid to late second. While some mocks feature the Colts trading back out of the first, abandoning an OT and taking Hudson at the top of the second, the most likely scenario where the Colts obtain Hudson’s services are in the event where he falls to the colts pick at 53. Hudson would become an obvious choice at this pick as his valuation is much higher than 53, but this may be where his measurables come into play. He is short and light for a linemen, and his Combine results weren’t remarkable. If this becomes more prevalent on the minds of GMs as the draft begins, Hudson could very well fall to the Colts second round pick. He has the size and smarts to be considered a Jeff Saturday clone, and if he plays anything like he is expected to, the analogy may be rather apt. Still, unless the Colts obtain a replacement for Diem at the least, finding Saturday’s clone will not help much unless 2009 4th rounder Jacques McClendon can step up and rid the line of Mike Pollak.

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