The great thing about the NFL is that there are so many positions that every year, there is almost always at least one player who has a breakout year on every team, no matter how good or bad the team is. This is one part in a 32 part segment detailing one potential breakout player (rookies don’t count) for the 2013 NFL season on each NFL team. For the Kansas City Chiefs, that player is center Rodney Hudson.
Hudson was a 2nd round pick of the Chiefs in 2011. He was as accomplished as a collegiate offensive lineman could be, starting all 4 years, making the All-ACC team in his final 3 years, and the All-American in his final 2 years, doing so unanimously in his senior year. However, the NFL doesn’t have a lot of sub 300 pounds offensive lineman and Hudson weighed in at 299 at The Combine, while not posting a particularly fast 40 time at 5.31. In spite of 27 reps of 225, there were still major questions about his ability to anchor.
Hudson barely played as a rookie, serving as a reserve guard. However, with long-time NFL veteran Casey Wiegmann retiring, a hole opened up at center for the Chiefs and Hudson was moved there for the 2012 season. The move made sense. Hudson’s lack of strength and athleticism wouldn’t be as big of an issue at center and his intelligence and technique would be big time assets.
Hudson started out very well in his first season at center, only allowing 1 pressure in his first 2 and ½ games, but he went down with a broken leg during the middle of that 3rd game, costing him his season. In spite of the limited playing time, he graded out as ProFootballFocus’ 23rd ranked center, grading out above average as a run and pass blocker. Only Dallas’ Phil Costa played fewer snaps than him and graded out better than him. Provided he can stay healthy (injuries have never been an issue for him before last year), Hudson could certainly pick up where he left off and emerge as one of the better centers in the game.