The 2011 NFL Draft is less than 48 hours away. We took a close look earlier today at one offensive lineman from the state of Florida who can play either guard or center — Mike Pouncey — why not make it two.

Whether it be Pouncey in Round 1, Stefen Wisniewski in Round 2, or someone else in a later round, you can bank on the fact that the Giants will draft at least one player capable of playing center in this year’s Draft. Rodney Hudson from FSU may be a poor man’s Pouncey. He is capable of effectively playing both center and guard, but will more than likely be drafted on day two.

Let’s take a closer look.


Rodney Hudson
Senior, Guard/Center
Florida State
6-2, 295

From Draft Countdown:

Strengths:
— Terrific athleticism, quickness, agility and balance
— Natural knee bender w/ nimble feet to slide / mirror
— Polished technician w/ excellent hand use and footwork
— Has a superb understanding of positioning and angles
— Great range to pull, work in space and reach 2nd level
— Adequate push and generates movement in run game
— Good leverage and surprisingly stout at point out attack
— Fantastic football IQ with elite instincts / awareness
— Smart with a fabulous work ethic leadership abilities
— A ton of experience against high-quality competition

Weaknesses:
— Lacks height / bulk with short arms and small hands
— Not overly powerful or especially dominant physically
— Might not be an ideal fit for every team or situation
— History of knee issues and minor durability concerns

Overview:
A four-year starter and team captain for the Seminoles — Named 1st Team All-ACC in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and was 2nd Team in 2007 — A unanimous 1st Team All-American in 2010 after taking home 2nd Team honors in 2009 — Won the Jacobs Blocking Award as the ACC’s most dominating lineman in 2009 and 2010 — Could project to either offensive guard or center at the next level — Best fit might come in a zone blocking scheme — May not have the prototypical size that you look for but beyond that there really isn’t much not to like — Possesses both the talent and physical tools to enjoy a long, prosperous career in the NFL.

From the National Football Post:

An undersized interior lineman who lacks ideal height but exhibits noticeably long arms in comparison with the rest of his frame and exhibits impressive athleticism in all areas of his game. Quickly gets out of his stance in the run game, firing off the football, reaching targets off his body and consistently eliminating them from the play. Is very comfortable in space and has the kind of body control/range to absolutely dominate at the second level.

Exhibits an impressive first step off the snap in the pass game as well, quickly getting his hands up and extending his arms into blocks. Plays with natural leverage and routinely is able to beat opposing linemen to their spot — even vs. explosive one-gappers — and get under their pad level at the point. However, isn’t as polished as a technician as many are making him out to be. Has a tendency to get a bit overextended with his footwork and will lunge into blocks bending at the waist, which causes him to lose his base initially and can get jolted on contact. But, does a nice job quickly regaining his balance, sinking his hips and achieving the leverage needed to anchor.

Exhibits impressive change of direction skills and lateral agility for the position. Displays the ability to cleanly slide his feet and mirror through contact, and possesses impressive range when asked to redirect and pick up a blitzing backer. Demonstrates heavier hands than given credit for as well and can really stick to blocks inside.

Impression: Can be bullied at times initially off the snap, but regains his balance well and looks like a potential starter in a zone-blocking scheme at the next level.

There is a chance that Pouncey won’t fall to the Giants at pick 19 in the first round, which of course is dependent on the 18 picks prior to ours. If that’s the case, Hudson could draw some consideration from the Giants in round two. Reports on Hudson state he will only fit in a zone-blocking scheme. The Giants, though, are primarily characterized as a power-running team, which I’d have to say is untrue. If we were a power-running team, we’d have way more 3rd-and-1 conversions.

All kidding aside, the Giants don’t use a “conventional” power-running scheme and sometimes do employ pulling and trapping schemes up front. While it’s not a conventional scheme, though, the Giants do primarily utilize power-running blocking schemes.

Hudson is an intriguing prospect. He’s not the road grader most of use would like to see on the line; but whether it’s pancaking a tackle or sealing off an end to create a hole to run through, they’re both considered blocks. He makes up for his alleged lack of size with discipline and execution of assignments. His football IQ and solid technique will make him a successful NFL lineman.

A few years down the road – in the right system – he could be the best lineman selected in this year’s Draft. However, his skill set doesn’t translate straight into the Giants’ system, which is something I’m tired of seeing (Clint Sintim comes to mind). If he’s the best player available in round two, Hudson is worth consideration; If he’s not, which is more than likely to be the case in my opinion, I’d look elsewhere.