Baltimore Ravens: Rookie Matt Judon Next Sack Master
Matt Judon Has Impressed This Preseason
There is a funny thing happening to the Ravens outside pass rushers, they keep getting older. Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, like everything and everyone else, keep aging. Breaking news, neither one of them is Benjamin Button.
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In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Ravens went into the realm of Division II football. It’s a scary place to venture if you are a front office with a weak stomach. However Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens safely navigated the unpolished football landscape, and armed themselves with a fifth round pick. Using that pick, the 146th overall, they found their new, quarterback vanquishing hero, Matt Judon.
The Grand Valley State star won the Gene Upshaw Trophy his senior season after leading all of college football with 20 sacks. At the combine, Judon ran an impressive 4.73 during the 40-yard dash which ranked him fifth amongst defensive lineman. The Ravens drafted the him to play outside linebacker and get after the quarterback.
During the 2016 preseason, Judon has done just that. He recorded another sack against the Lions this weekend increasing his total to three. This sack against the Lions came while Judon went against Riley Reiff, the Lions starting right tackle. Since his other sacks came against second and third team offensive lineman, beating Reiff, a former first round pick, this weekend proves Judon can beat NFL talent.
Last season, the Ravens only tallied 37 sacks, down from 49 the year before. Funnily enough, the 12 sacks they lost was the exact number of sacks Suggs had in 2014. He only played in one game last year before a torn Achilles put him on IR. Dumervil lead the team with only 6 sacks.
Judon needs to help get pressure on the quarterback. The two aging sack masters need to watch highlight reels to find their best moments. Judon on the other hand has the chance to create all new highlights.
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This can help return the Ravens defense to prominence. He will be a double-digit sack guy once he brings his game up to the NFL level. This season, it will be fun to watch him learn from two of the best pass rushers in the game.