By Joe Schiller
After a breakout sophomore season, Matthew Judon has the tools to be a premier pass rusher in 2018.
There’s a reason Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams didn’t see much playing time last season. While they possessed plenty of upside as rookies, it wasn’t just their inexperience that kept them off the field. It was the performance by second-year stud Matthew Judon.
It’s often we see players fall under the dreaded “sophomore slump” during their second year but Judon took no part in that. The Ravens chose to part ways with veteran edge rusher Elvis Dumveril after an injured-plagued 2016 season and it proved to be one of the best offseason decisions Ozzie Newsome made. Judon stepped up to the plate alongside Terrell Suggs and had a breakout year. He totaled 58 tackles, eight sacks, along with two forced fumbles. For a team that struggled to pressure the quarterback the previous season, Judon quickly helped change that dynamic.
Judon wasn’t Leonard Floyd, Kevin Dodd, Jaylen Smith or any of the top pass rushers coming into the 2016 NFL draft. Hell, he was one of the Ravens’ last picks in that draft class. Coming out of Division II Grand Valley State, Judon didn’t get the same looks as the bigger-named players. That’s not something the Ravens seemed to care about and like Brandon Williams and so many times before, Ozzie Newsome showed off his talent for finding small-school...