Former general manager, Reggie McKenzie gets plenty of flak for poor draft picks but one of the moves that was made during his tenure that continues to go unheralded is the signing of Rodney Hudson.
The two time pro bowl center is entering the final year of his five year deal. Hudson has been worth every penny of the $44.5 million the Raiders have paid him. There was some speculation that Hudson could hold out and not report to camp but Hudson opted to join his teammates at practice.
It’s a complete lack of respect that Hudson did not make his third consecutive pro bowl in 2018 and has never made an all-pro team. Despite being the 10th highest paid center in the league, Hudson continues to play like one of the best.
According to Pro Football Focus, Hudson allowed only five pressures in 2018. While Hudson’s physical talent is special it’s his mental abilities that make him an invaluable part of the Raiders offensive line.
“Rodney is super smart,” said Kolton Miller. “I think he identified every pressure. I’m not sure if he missed one pressure last year, so he gets the game for sure. Having him on the team is a huge asset.”
“Usually we will hit up on what the teams like to do, what pressure, what loads they like to bring, but honestly he is like the mastermind of it. He sees it and can bring the slide to us. So yeah, he’s great.”
In addition to being a great player on the field he also has been a great representation for the organization off the field. Twice Hudson has won Oakland’s Commitment to Excellence award, an honor which was voted on by his peers. And recently graduated with his Master’s degree.
“He’s the ultimate pro,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said of Hudson. “But certainly, Rodney is the one who gets everything and makes it easier on Derek Carr and what his responsibility is. Getting those right plays or getting into those right protections, Rodney is able to do that just as a quarterback would. He’s really been great.”
The Raiders have a revamped offensive line that includes the additions of right tackle Trent Brown and left guard Ritchie Incognito who will be suspended the first two games of the season. Their additions along with Kolton Miller entering his all-important second season, the Raiders will lean heavily on Hudson as the glue that holds it all together.