1. Rodney Hudson
Rodney Hudson, a 2011 2nd round pick, has been a starter for the Chiefs at center over the past 3 seasons and he’s been very good. He only made 3 starts in his first year as a center in 2012, but he graded out above average then and he’s done that as well over the past 2 seasons, while making all 32 starts. He graded out 17th in 2013 and then had the best season of his career in 2014 at the perfect time in his contract year, as he graded out 3rd at his position. One of the better centers in the game, Hudson will be paid like that this off-season.
2. Chris Myers
Myers is an accomplished player, but an aging, declining, and expensive one as well. He’s also going into his age 34 season and, though he’s graded out above average in every season since Pro Football Focus started in 2007, he had his worst recorded season in 2014, grading out 16th among centers. He also especially struggled in pass protection, getting by largely on strong run blocking. The Texans cut him to save 6 million in cash and cap space, but he still deserves to be a starter somewhere in 2015. He fits best in a zone blocking scheme.
3. Stefen Wisniewski
Stefen Wisniewski graded out slightly below average in 2014 (22nd out of 41 eligible centers), but he’s still one of the Raiders’ few talented young starters. After struggling at guard as a rookie, the 2011 2nd round pick moved to center in 2012 and graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 17th and 11th ranked center in 2012 and 2013 respectively. They’d be wise to try to re-sign him as he’s not the type of player who is going to break the bank.
4. Brian De La Puente
De La Puente started 47 games for the Saints from 2011-2013 and graded out 13th, 4th, and 16th among centers in 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively. Still, despite that, he was forced to settle for a cheap one-year deal in free agency last off-season and didn’t have a guaranteed starting role. He ended up making 6 starts between center and left guard as injuries hit the Bears on the offensive line this year and graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 7th ranked center despite the limited action. No one played fewer snaps and graded out higher among centers. Only going into his age 30 season, he deserves a starting job and a multi-year deal in free agency this off-season.
5. Will Montgomery
With the Redskins, Montgomery graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 18th ranked center in 2011, 5th in 2012, and 15th in 2013. However, he was still released by the Redskins last off-season with a new regime coming in with a new blocking scheme and he only got a cheap, 1-year deal from the Broncos. Montgomery made 8 starts down the stretch for the Broncos and graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 15th ranked center. He’s going into his age 32 season and he’s not a good fit for a power blocking scheme, but he deserves to be a starter somewhere in the NFL in 2015. A return to Denver could make sense as Gary Kubiak is a Mike Shanahan disciple and Montgomery had his best years under Shanahan in Washington.