I think it is pretty obvious that whether it is Florida's Mike Pouncey at No. 19 in the first round or someone else in a later round, the New York Giants will draft at least one player capable of playing center in the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft. We might as well be familiar with as many of them as possible.
One player we have never discussed is Florida State's Rodney Hudson, who might be a poor man's Pouncey as he is a player who can play both center and guard -- but is likely to be drafted on the second day of the draft. So, let's use today's 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile to talk about Hudson.
Scouting reports after the jump.
C/G, Florida State
6-foot-2, 295 pounds
Projection: 2nd day
From SB Nation's Mocking The Draft:
Agility: Passing the look test is going to be an issue for Hudson but good thing its not all about looks. Hudson has a short stocky build but is a fluid athlete. He possesses quick and balanced motions which allows him to get good positioning on the defender.
Movement: Hudson does not have great speed but has a quick first step and short area burst. His awareness allows him to get a good jump off the line and his hands inside the defender.
Pass blocking: Possessing a natural bend allows Hudson to anchor on contact. His bend helps him keep his pad level low and maintain leverage. Hudson has a strong lower half and anchors on contact. After the initial contact, Hudson is able to remain balanced limiting the defenders push on the pocket.
Run blocking: Driving defenders off the line of scrimmage will never be a strong point of Hudson's game. Where he is effective is getting inside hands and sealing defenders from the play.
Final Word: Hudson has a bright future in the NFL but he needs to land on a team that will utilize his skill set. He is not the ideal candidate to land with a power running team. Hudson would fit with a team that employs a zone scheme that will allow him to engage and turn the defender. He has the versatility to play either guard or center but he may be more valuable at the center position. His football IQ and solid technique is what will make him a successful pro.
From Draft Countdown:
- Terrific athleticism, quickness, agility and balance
- Natural knee bender w/ nimble feet to slide / mirror
- Polished technician w/ excellent hand use and footwork
- Has a superb understanding of positioning and angles
- Great range to pull, work in space and reach 2nd level
- Adequate push and generates movement in run game
- Good leverage and surprisingly stout at point out attack
- Fantastic football IQ with elite instincts / awareness
- Smart with a fabulous work ethic leadership abilities
- Lacks height / bulk with short arms and small hands
- Not overly powerful or especially dominant physically
- Might not be an ideal fit for every team or situation
- History of knee issues and minor durability concerns
Could project to either offensive guard or center at the next level --- Best fit might come in a zone blocking scheme --- May not have the prototypical size that you look for but beyond that there really isn't much not to like --- Possesses both the talent and physical tools to enjoy a long, prosperous career in the NFL.