Raiders: Improve at center with Hudson
Though they have a longstanding rivalry on the field, Rodney Hudson has crossed the divide leaving the Kansas City Chiefs to join the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs and Raiders boasted our No. 1 and No. 2-ranked free agent centers and the Raiders clearly weren’t content with re-signing their own, Stefen Wisniewski, instead going out and poaching Hudson from the Chiefs with a lucrative deal.
Entering the league at the same time as Wisniewski, Hudson found playing time slower to come by with an injury only three games into his sophomore season. That injury, after having sat behind Casey Wiegmann as a rookie, left Hudson with only 185 snaps at center after two seasons. His performances proved to be worth the wait, though, as he developed over his last two seasons with Kansas City into a quality starter, finishing third overall in our 2014 rankings and with positive grades as a run blocker and pass protector in each of the last two seasons.
In 2014 as a pass protector he surrendered only 11 pressures all year with his pass protection grade of +4.2 bettered by only Nick Mangold and Will Montgomery. Meanwhile as a run blocker it was his consistency rather than his dominance that shone through. In his 16 starts last season Hudson earned a positive grade 11 times, only grading below -1.0 twice. After a strong 2013, the Raiders didn’t see development from Stefen Wisniewski in 2014 and they will hope that in Hudson they have acquired a player on the rise to being an elite center.