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Rodney Hudson Rated Top Center In NFL By PFF

Pro Bowler expected to upgrade the interior considerably in 2021

Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson looks out toward the practice field upon his arrival in Arizona.
Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson looks out toward the practice field upon his arrival in Arizona.

The Cardinals had issues with interior pressure at times last season, which made life more difficult for quarterback Kyler Murray.

GM Steve Keim took a step toward rectifying that with the offseason trade for Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson, and the upgrade is expected to be significant.

Hudson has been rated as the best center in the NFL by Pro Football Focus heading into the 2021 season. The analytics site singled out his pass-blocking prowess, as Hudson had the highest mark among centers in that category in every season from 2015 through 2019.

Hudson was rated as the seventh-best pass-blocking center last year and finished with an overall grade of 73.6. Mason Cole, the Cardinals' starting center last season, was given an overall grade of 54.4, which was 42nd among centers.

The Cardinals' offensive line finished last season No. 3 in the NFL in ESPN's pass-block win rate and No. 6 in run-block win rate. The addition of Hudson should give the group a higher ceiling this year, as starting left tackle D.J. Humphries, starting left guard Justin Pugh and starting right tackle Kelvin Beachum return.

PFF rated Humphries the No. 26 offensive tackle in the NFL heading into 2021.

The main training camp battle on the line is at right guard, where Justin Murray and free agent addition Brian Winters seem likely to compete for the starting gig.

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