Chiefs OL Rodney Hudson Proves Consistent Once Again

Putting the spotlight on Chiefs center Rodney Hudson

If number of snaps on the field equate to a player's value on a team, then Kansas City Chiefs center Rodney Hudson has been the most valuable player for the offense over the past two seasons.

As the full-time starter at center over the last two years, Hudson has played more snaps than any other Chiefs offensive player during that time.

In 2013, Hudson played a total of 1,089 snaps, which led the offense and was only second on the team to former safety Kendrick Lewis' total of 1,108.

In 2014, Hudson led the offense with 1,007 snaps and was only behind defensive players Sean Smith (1,037), Justin Houston (1,033), Husain Abdullah (1,025) and Ron Parker (1,014).  

"Rodney (Hudson) demonstrated his professionalism this season," Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said. "He's very solid in what he did and he's very consistent in what he does. He plays the center position very well."

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Other than quarterback Alex Smith, Hudson is the only other player who touches the ball on every play.

For NFL centers, there's much more to being successful than just simply knowing who to block and executing the given play. They have to be cerebral and understand everything about not only what they're trying to do on offense, but what the defense is showing as well.

"Rodney (Hudson) just gives you complete confidence that everything is taken care of in there," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said back at training camp. "Not only is he telling guys when they need to pick up the pace, but he's also coaching them up about any transition that takes place with the defense. 

"When you've got to abort what you've got on (from a play call or protection standpoint) and relocate the strength of the defense. He can handle all of that stuff and he's doing it in seconds."

When you combine that with the athletic ability Hudson displays for a center, whether it's the ability to get out in space on a bubble screen or run the angle for a swing pass to a running back, the Chiefs offense has a lot of nuances because of what Hudson can provide from a skillset perspective.

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According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Hudson ranked as the No. 3 center in the NFL last season. While PFF's grading system is subjective, 14 different NFL franchises use them for their analytics.

His 2014 season was an improvement in their eyes over the previous year, when he ranked No. 17.

Hudson's leadership style, which also coincides with his personality, isn't loud or flashy.

"He's a good leader," Reid noted. "Not loud, but just a good leader."

Originally a second-round draft pick (No. 55 overall) out of Florida State in 2011, Hudson was a two-time All-American (2009-10), an Outland Trophy finalist and left school as one of the most decorated linemen in program history.

This excerpt below is from the NFL.com scouting report on Hudson prior to the 2011 NFL draft.

Rodney Hudson's 2014 highlights.

"Hudson has a well-rounded, polished skill set. Should be an immediate starter at guard or center and could make a few Pro Bowls down the line. He can handle power or speed pass rushers with his outstanding balance, flexibility and wide base."

Last season, Hudson allowed just two quarterback hits on Alex Smith in more than 540 drop backs.

One player who understands how good Hudson has been for the Chiefs is one of the guys who goes up against him every day, two-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Dontari Poe.

"He's improved a lot," Poe said of Hudson. "Rodney has always been good since I got here but he works hard. Every day he comes out and I know when I'm going against him I got to get my mind right.

"I love competing against him every day."

Hudson is one of 16 Chiefs players who are not under contract as of now for the 2015 season.

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