Ex-Raven Matt Judon Takes Shot At Former Team On Twitter

Former Ravens OLB Matt Judon

Getty Former Ravens OLB Matt Judon calls out the front office for being frugal with elite pass rushers.

The Baltimore Ravens have a rich history of drafting and developing high-level to elite defenders at all positions. That has been especially true in the front seven at both inside and outside linebacker.

A pair of their former edge defenders are currently tied with Nick Bosa of the San Fransisco 49ers for the league lead in sacks through the first eight weeks of the 2022 season with both Matt Judon of the New England Patriots and Zadarius Smith of the Minnesota Vikings having recorded 8.5 apiece.

Judon recently took to Twitter not to refute the fact that the Ravens are among the best at finding elite pass rushers but to point out that the reason they aren’t retained is that the front office is reluctant to pay them on a thread in which Brian Baldinger posed the question if Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo would be the next generation.

The Ravens have historically shown that they would rather replenish their ranks through the NFL Draft. They selected Smith and Judon on day three in back-to-back years from 2015-2016 after losing Pernell Mcphee to free agency following a breakout 2014 season, having Terrell Suggs coming off a torn Achilles in 2015, and with Elvis Dumervil entering the final year of his contract in 2016.

Neither player notched double-digit sacks in a single season during their time with the team due to schematic structure and inconsistent health and play of the secondary with Judon coming the closest in 2019 when he recorded a then career-high 9.5. Since leaving, they have blossomed into elite game wreakers capable of taking over games and have recorded one or more seasons of double-digit sacks.

Both Oweh and Ojabo were taken with high-round picks in back-to-back years and have the generational athletic profiles to become the next two elite pass rushers that get their start in Charm City. They terrorized opposing quarterbacks together in high school at Blair Academy and are excited to get the opportunity to do the same at the professional level.

“It just felt good seeing him out there,” Oweh said in a press conference on November 2, 2022. I was like, I haven’t had this dynamic in like six or something years. So, it felt good man. It’s going to be fun.”

Ojabo Poised To Make Rookie Debut

Before a devastating and untimely torn Achilles injury suffered at his Pro Day in March, the former Michigan product was projected to be a top-15 pick. The Ravens might have never even gotten a chance to take him even in the first round at No. 14 overall where Kyle Hamilton fall into their laps but instead, he fell to them in the second round at No. 45 overall.

After a long long road to recovery that has spanned seven months, there is a high probability that the first-year pro could make his NFL debut when the team travels to the ‘Big Easy’ for a primetime matchup with the New Orleans Saints on Monday Football. He was a full participant in his first full week of practice since being activated from the Non-Football Injury List and wasn’t listed on the final injury report with any designation.

“It’s been a long journey, but it’s God’s plan at the end of the day,” said Ojabo in a press conference on November 2, 2022. “We’re getting there, man. I made my first full practice. I feel good. I already know the playbook. It’s just a matter of getting my confidence back, getting my footing back.”

Even if he doesn’t play anything more than a handful of snaps in a rotational role on obvious passing downs, it will mark an incredible milestone for the highly gifted edge rusher that could prove to be a steal in short order and difference maker in this defense for years to come. Since he played in first-year defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s defense last year with the Wolverines, Ojabo’s only hurdle as a rookie was going to be health.

Tyus Bowser Feels “Confident” and Ready To Play

Unlike Judon and Smith, the sixth-year veteran is one of the few exceptions to the Ravens’ trend at outside linebacker because the team did sign him to a second contract. He suffered a torn Achilles in the 2021 regular season finale on January 9, 2022, and is slated to make his long-awaited 2022 debut after being activated from the Physically Unable to Perform List this past week and being a full participant in practice, like Ojabo.

“I’m good and feeling confident, so [I’m] looking forward to it,” Bowser told reporters on November 5, 2022, when asked if he feels ready to play in Week 9. “If you see [No.] 54 on the field, that’s when you’ll know.”

He led the Ravens in sacks last season with a career-high seven but versatility has been the aspect of his game that the defense has missed most during his absence. In addition to being a potent pass rusher, Bowser is arguably the best one-ball coverage linebacker in the league capable of crashing off the edge and dropping into underneath passing lanes at a high level.

The Ravens’ collection of Oweh and veteran edge talent at the position have been playing well when healthy, especially four-time Pro Bowler Justin Houston, have played above expectation.

“These guys have been working hard; these guys have been dialed in ever since they stepped foot here,” Bowser said. “Everybody is just doing their job, [and] we’re getting people back, so I’m looking forward to really seeing what this – especially at outside linebacker – group can do.”

This injury was the first major setback of Bowser’s entire athletic career and was uncharted territory for him. However, he didn’t rush the process and paid an immense amount of attention to detail during his rehabilitation so that he could be fully recovered before making his return to the field.

“The main part is just whatever is being told, whatever is being said, just go out there and do it, and just doing your part as far as taking care of your body [and] doing the small, little things to help yourself get back healthy. That’s all I’ve been doing.”

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x