After several dominant years, Raiders starting center Rodney Hudson has finally been recognized as one of the two best centers in the NFL by the Associated Press. Hudson received nine votes for being the best center in the NFL, which was good enough to land him on the All-Pro second-team. Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce is still the gold standard at center and received 29 votes, which landed him on the first-team.
Hudson has become well regarded as the best pass-blocking center in the NFL over the last few years. According to Pro Football Focus, Hudson didn’t allow a single sack on the year and only allowed three quarterback pressures. He’s only allowed 54 pressures over the entirety of his nine-year NFL career. These facts were good enough to earn the starting center spot on the AFC Pro Bowl roster.
Hudson was also rewarded with a huge contract extension just before the season started. He battled injuries throughout the year and further proved his toughness by continuing to dominate. There’s no doubt he’s the top center in the AFC and it could be argued he’s the best center in the NFL.
Trent Brown & Darren Waller Get Votes
Another player who had a good shot of making either the first or second All-Pro team was starting right-tackle Trent Brown. He was an absolute force for the Raiders this year. Unfortunately, he was dealing with serious injuries all year, which caused him to miss five games in total. He simply missed too much time to get real consideration for the All-Pro team. However, he did receive two votes, which is the fourth-best tally in the NFL. If he can stay healthy in 2020, Brown is almost a lock to make an All-Pro. He already made his first Pro Bowl in 2019.
Tight end Darren Waller didn’t receive any votes as a tight end, but he did receive one as a FLEX. There’s no doubt that Waller proved to be one of the five best tight ends in the NFL in 2019. One could argue that he’s one of the two best in the NFL. He finished second in the NFL in receptions and receiving yards by a tight end in 2019. His biggest fault is that he only scored three touchdowns. Considering he came out of nowhere this season, don’t be surprised if he’s even better in 2020.
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Who Got Snubbed?
It can definitely be argued that Trent Brown and Darren Waller were snubbed, but they at least got some recognition by way of votes. Richie Incognito only allowed nine quarterback pressures and one sack on the season, per PFF. Troy Aikman said that Incognito was playing the best football at guard since Hall of Famer Larry Allen. It appears he didn’t do enough to impress AP voters as he didn’t receive a single vote at left guard.
It’s hard to argue that Joe Thuney of the New England Patriots and Joel Bitonio of the Cleveland Cleveland Browns had better seasons than Incognito. According to PFF, Incognito has the second-lowest pressure rate allowed among guards in the NFL behind Baltimore Ravens’ Marshal Yanda. It looks like the fact that he missed four games in 2019 came back to bite him.