As the Baltimore Ravens face turnover in their pass rushing committee, Matt Judon and Jaylon Ferguson could emerge as a fearsome tandem for 2019.
While most assumed that Za’Darius Smith would depart this off-season following a breakout season, few would’ve also predicted that the Baltimore Ravens would lose Terrell Suggs via 2019’s Free Agency. With Suggs now gone, Baltimore faces an off-season that will look to remake the team’s pass rushing unit.
As it stands, the depth at the position is far from ideal, let alone a comforting thought. There was a time when Tim Williams was believed to be an elite level talent as a true edge rusher, and Tyus Bowser was deemed as a versatile player who could benefit the defense in multiple ways. However, both have struggled to see the field due to poor play and injuries.
Thankfully, Matt Judon was stepped up wonderfully for the Ravens and will serve as the team’s top-edge rusher for 2019. In his first three seasons with Baltimore, Judon has accumlated 19.0 sacks, including 14.0 over the last two seasons. Still, a true partner in crime was needed opposite Judon, however, and Baltimore addressed this need via the 2019 NFL Draft in the former of Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson.
Ferguson was wildly productive throughout his time with the Bulldogs, accruing 45.0 sacks in his four seasons at Louisiana Tech, earning him the nickname “sack daddy.” Those 45.0 sacks are also a NCAA record for most all-time in college football history, passing the former record holder Terrell Suggs; the very same Suggs who just departed Charm City this past March. It seems poetic that Ferguson would be the one to replace Suggs now.
So, with Judon on one side and Ferguson on the other, the Ravens may have found themselves the best duo at edge rusher since Suggs and Elvis Dumervil dominated the NFL back in 2014. The difference between these two duos is age, as Judon will be the eldest of him and Ferguson at 27-years old come the start of the season. Comparatively, Dumervil was the youngest of him and T-Sizzle in 2014 at 30-years old.
Sure, youth isn’t the ultimate factor in the equation, but it could mean that Baltimore has itself a young, and potentially awesome pass rushing combo for years to come (pending Judon resigning following 2019).
The idea of Matt Judon and Jaylon Ferguson together is certainly an exciting one. Should both players reach their potential, the Ravens may have found themselves the building blocks needed to remake their pass rushing core quicker than anyone could’ve predicted. Time will tell how these two will fair, but for now Ravens Flock should be eager to see what these two can do together in 2019.