ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals’ Rodney Hudson comes in at No. 1 in PFF’s center rankings

May 28, 2021, 11:08 AM | Updated: 11:15 am

Rodney Hudson #61 of the Oakland Raiders looks on during the preseason game against the Minnesota V...

Rodney Hudson #61 of the Oakland Raiders looks on during the preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings on August 22, 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Raiders 20-12. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

You don’t have to look very hard to see where Rodney Hudson rates in Pro Football Focus’ book of starting NFL centers.

The Arizona Cardinals’ offseason addition was the top dog in PFF’s centers ranking released Monday.

No NFL center has come close to touching Hudson’s level of pass-protecting prowess over the past decade. If you line up the highest pass-blocking grades for all qualifying center seasons since 2015, Hudson owns each of the top five spots for his work from 2015 to 2019. He took a step back in that department last season, but he still ended the year as the league’s seventh-highest-graded center. Hudson projects as a significant upgrade over Mason Cole in Arizona.

Despite the dip in pass blocking, Hudson was the eighth highest center graded out by PFF last season (70).

It’s not only his production that contributed to the Cardinals going after Hudson in the trade market. It’s what he can do for third-year quarterback Kyler Murray.

“I think it’s very important that the quarterback and center see things the same way,” Hudson told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo in March. “Whatever it might be: blitzes, adjustments or whatnot — that’ll be important to our success.

“I think one of the biggest teachers is experience. It’s my opinion that the more you play, the more you learn,” he added of himself. “I can say for myself that I’m still learning. I think you’re always learning as you go, you always see something new and it always teaches you something.”

The center joined the Cardinals this offseason after Arizona sent a 2021 third-round draft pick to the Las Vegas Raiders in return for Hudson and a 2021 seventh-rounder.

The Cardinals’ seventh-round selection from the trade was coincidentally used on anther center in Penn State’s Michal Menet, who hopes to learn a thing or two from the three-time Pro Bowler.

As for the rest of the NFC West, the San Francisco 49ers’ Alex Mack is next on the list at No. 13. He’s followed by the Los Angeles Rams’ Austin Corbett at No. 19 and the Seattle Seahawks’ Ethan Pocic at No. 21.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and former teammate Larry Fitzgerald will play in BlitzC...

Bailey Leasure

Kyler Murray and Larry Fitzgerald set to compete in chess tournament

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and former teammate Larry Fitzgerald will play in BlitzChamps III chess tournament for charity.

13 minutes ago

Rutgers cornerback Max Melton celebrates...

Damon Allred

ESPN: Cornerback Max Melton fits into Cardinals’ defensive identity

The Arizona Cardinals continue to receive praise for drafting CB Max Melton because of how he matches what the defense wants to do.

8 hours ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: What will the Arizona Cardinals’ first six weeks of the NFL season say about the team?

Two-time Super Bowl winner Max Starks joined Wolf & Luke to share his thoughts on the Arizona Cardinals' first six weeks of the NFL season.

1 day ago

Darius Robinson at rookie minicamp...

Damon Allred

PFF offseason grades: Cardinals earn a B+ with potential for an A

Pro Football Focus released its grades for all 32 teams on Thursday, and the Cardinals got a B+ that can reach an "A" level.

2 days ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: How good can the Arizona Cardinals be?

Burns & Gambo discuss what they think the ceiling of the Arizona Cardinals is after the schedule was released on Wednesday.

2 days ago

Jonathan Gannon looks on...

Tyler Drake

What does Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon look for in an NFL schedule?

The NFL's annual schedule release parlays quickly into way-too-early predictions. For Jonathan Gannon, it's much more measured.

2 days ago

Cardinals’ Rodney Hudson comes in at No. 1 in PFF’s center rankings