Position Ranking: #2
Strengths: A very good athlete for an offensive lineman- as good as you’ll find at any level. Consistently wins the snap of the ball and gets low inside hand placement to win leverage in run support. Extremely agile when releasing laterally and can quickly reach the second level to pick off defenders; readjusts well in space and finds the loose man. A finisher and consistently plays to the whistle. Knows when to initiate a cut block and does it cleanly in space. Very good on pulls towards the outside and immediately gets underneath the defender- seals the corner. Quick and efficient when setting in pass protection, widening base and extending arms while staying on his toes. Good awareness of coverage and was seen calling out protection checks. Stamina holds steady for four quarters. Very disciplined in his technique, no holding or false start calls in games I observed. Has been a mainstay on the offensive line since his freshman year. Two time winner of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy.
Needs Improvement: Lacks size and can get overpowered by a strong inside bull rush in pass protection. Will overextend at the waist at times and lunge to catch a defender, leaving him unbalanced. Has trouble driving lineman back on straight ahead blocks in run support. Strength/size must improve to maintain level of play even in a similar blocking scheme. Handles speed much better than pure size and strength.
Bottom Line: Rodney Hudson would’ve been one of my top two lineman had he chosen to declare for the draft last year. He’s an extremely impressive prospect athletically and always has his head in the game- he doesn’t lose focus. All Hudson lacks is pure size and strength to be as complete a lineman as you could ask for at the NFL level. His athleticism and football IQ jump out at you and he should continue to be a mainstay in a similar zone blocking scheme at the next level. If Hudson is able to add 10-15 pounds to his frame, he’ll become a perennial Pro Bowler in the NFL, and may become one anyway with continued effort on technique consistency. I really enjoyed evaluating Rodney Hudson the past two seasons.
Draft Projection: Mid 2nd to early 3rd round.