“I think he’s ready to be a starter at center or guard,” Pioli said of Hudson at the NFL Scouting Combine. “He’s a good young player who had some time last year. One of the interesting things about Rodney that showed itself last year was his maturity and his ability to prepare.”
Hudson was selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft as the heir apparent to ironman center Casey Wiegmann, who despite turning 38 last summer hasn’t missed a snap in over a decade. Wiegmann ended last season having played 11,162 consecutive snaps dating back to a game vs. the New York Giants on September 23, 2001.
Though he has yet to break into the Eagles’ lineup as a regular starter, Dunlap is just 26 years old and has done a solid job the past two seasons in his role as Philly’s swing tackle. Dunlap is also a giant of a man, standing a 6’9” and weight 330 pounds. He’s put on 20 pounds since entering the league four years ago.
Originally a seventh-round pick of the Eagles in 2008, Dunlap was once considered a top NFL prospect. However, his draft stock fell after a poor senior season at Auburn saw him benched for inconsistency. In addition, the beginning to his professional career was derailed thanks to an ankle injury that wiped out his entire rookie season.
Chad Henne, however, is not the answer. While the Chiefs have been publicly linked to Peyton Manning and they interviewed Robert Griffin III among others at the Combine, the Chiefs bringing in yet another mediocre quarterback in hopes that one suddenly finds the ability to lead an NFL team to greatness. In this instance, in other words, one plus one does not equal two. It just equals one again — as in “you need one more quarterback.”
The Chiefs have done a great job building up the roster since Pioli took over, adding impact players in the secondary and at the skill positions. Quarterback has to be the next place to receive some sort of boost that moves beyond efficiency and into the realm of game-changing ability. Will that cost? Yes. Has any team regretted that cost in the past? Likely not.