Draft Exclusive: Undersized G/C

OL Rodney Hudson (Mike Ehrmann/Getty)

The Packers might need a new starting left guard and they need to start planning ahead at center. This acclaimed and experienced lineman, who weighs just 299 pounds, could fit the bill at both spots.

The Green Bay Packers might need a new starter at left guard, depending on the free-agent fate of Daryn Colledge.

And they need to start considering their future at center, with Scott Wells having turned 30 and entering the final season under contract.

Those facts put Florida State's Rodney Hudson in play if he's on the board at the end of the second round. Hudson was an All-American at guard as a senior and a two-time winner of the Jacobs Trophy, which goes to the ACC's top offensive lineman.

The four-year starting guard's best position might be center, according to Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher. With that versatility and an athletic skill-set that makes him perfectly suited to the Packers' zone blocking scheme, it's no wonder that the Packers used one of their formal interviews at the Scouting Combine on Hudson, a source told Packer Report.

"I feel very comfortable playing center. I haven't played (center) a lot in a game, but I practiced it a lot in school," Hudson said at the Combine, noting that teammate and fellow draft prospect Ryan McMahon was the Seminoles' four-year starting center.

The big question on Hudson isn't so much his NFL position but his weight. Because the Seminoles' coaches like quick-on-their-feet linemen, the 6-foot-2 Hudson played at about 285 pounds at Florida State but was up to 299 for the Combine.

"You gotta keep active, too," Hudson said of putting on weight. "Just can't eat and throw it on. I've been doing a lot of eating, but also been doing a lot of lifting and things like that."

Size wasn't much of an issue in college, even against B.J. Raji in 2008, when Raji was held to a season-low one tackle. Hudson plays low and plays with explosion and a nasty streak. He excelled in Florida State's wide-open offense but was just as effective at the Senior Bowl, according to scouts.

Incredibly, he was penalized just four times during his collegiate career and was named the ACC's lineman of the week a record nine times. As a senior, he didn't allow a sack and had just four missed assignments in 904 snaps. He didn't even allow a pressure as a junior.

Whether he's big and strong enough to hold up at guard remains to be seen. At center, though, Wells has excelled at 6-foot-2 and 300 pounds — just about the same as Hudson. Hudson is quick on his feet and quick mentally, so center indeed might be his best long-term position. Getting him now would allow him to learn behind Wells, who is coming off two of his best professional seasons and is one of the NFL's most underrated centers.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.

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