Cardinals’ Rodney Hudson lands at No. 8 in PFF’s center rankings for 2022

Jul 31, 2022, 12:44 PM
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at...
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on November 21, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals acquired center Rodney Hudson from the Las Vegas Raiders after the 2020 season in a much-needed move to bolster the offensive line.

Hudson played in 12 games with the Cardinals last year after six seasons with the then-Oakland Raiders and four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

After being away from the team for mandatory mini-camp in June, Hudson is back with the team for training camp ahead of the 2022 NFL season.

The Cardinals’ offense can exhale a sigh of relief thanks to Hudson’s return, with the veteran being amongst the best at his position.

Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsey ranked his best centers ahead of the 2022 season and had Hudson at No. 8

Hudson is one of the more difficult players to place on this list. He’s been the gold standard at the position in pass protection for much of his career and even recorded the highest PFF pass-blocking grade at the position in five straight seasons from 2015 to 2019.

While Hudson is known to be an anchor in the middle of the offensive line, he has struggled the last two seasons. After a career-low PFF grade a season ago, the Cardinals hope Hudson can return to his previous form.

That’s a five-year run of dominance matched only by Aaron Donald on the other side of the ball, but as you may have noticed, it doesn’t include Hudson’s 2020 and 2021 seasons. Hudson’s debut in Arizona last season came with a career-low 57.4 PFF grade in a season that included time spent on Injured Reserve and a stint on the COVID-19 list. The Cardinals will hope that the soon-to-be 33-year-old bounces back in his second year with the team.

The veteran center met with media on Friday, further explaining his absence from the Cardinals, which was initially labeled an unexcused one by head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

“I just think (it was) like any other season,” Hudson said. “Take some time off, spend some time with my family. I think in this sport we all say family comes before football. That’s something that wasn’t true in my world. You got to work all day, you come home, your kids go to sleep in two hours.”

Despite being ranked No. 8 among all the centers in the league, Hudson is the third-ranked center in the NFC by Linsey.

He sits behind Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow (No.3) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Ryan Jensen (No. 7) as the top at the position in the conference, but Jensen is expected to miss a handful of months after suffering a knee injury at training camp on Thursday.

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