Matt Judon has one of the two edge rusher spots locked up in a vice grip. Judon has 28.5 sacks over the last four seasons, first on the Baltimore Ravens, and is coming off a Pro Bowl season. Judon will play 2020 on the franchise tag, but he remains the team’s best pass rusher.
After him, it’s murky as to who starts across from Judon. The most logical choice here is Pernell McPhee, who was recently resigned for the 2020 season. McPhee was having a strong 2019 campaign before suffering a triceps injury. Now that he’s back, it seems likely that he will retain a starting spot with the team.
Baltimore could opt to go with one of their younger guys instead, however. Tyus Bowser is entering a contract season and is coming off a career-high five sack season. Bowser has improved each season in the league and could have a coming-out party in 2020. Jaylon Ferguson had extreme production during his time at Louisiana Tech, becoming college football all-time sack leader (45 sacks). There’s hope that he can carve out a more significant role in 2020 after being more of an afterthought in 2019.
Jihad Ward is the final piece of the puzzle here who presents an intriguing scenario. Ward is very similar to McPhee in that he’s a bigger edge guy who can put a hand in the dirt in sub-packages. Ward is the perfect “elephant” rusher for the Ravens and could be a nice chess piece for the team to flex around.
Overall, finding the edge rusher across from Judon will be one of the most important position battles of this offseason and will be pivotal for the team’s success in 2020.