Free-Agent Profile: LB Matthew Judon

Read more on SI All Lions' free-agent profile of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon
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Matthew Judon’s full body of work in 2020 was like watching a human-battering ram.  

Franchise tagged last year, Judon played on a one-year, $16.8 million deal, and he looked like he meant business. 

While he is not a machine, he is one heck of a presence standing up on either end of the line of scrimmage. He would bring a presence unlike anything Detroit currently has on its roster.  

Judon plays mean and nasty. He plays "old-school" football, and he hits opposing running backs, receivers, tight ends and quarterbacks like a sledgehammer.  

As an evaluator, the more I watched Judon, the more he grew on me. He is the very kind of player Detroit needs, in order to change the culture and set the tone. 

He brings serious attitude, as well as a level of energy and emotion to the field. Judon is a menacing force to be reckoned with.  

Despite the fact he has played in a 3-4 defensive alignment in Baltimore (three down defensive linemen and four linebackers), I believe it would be no problem for Judon to play in a 4-3 (four down defensive linemen and three linebackers).

Judon reacts after sacking Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II.

Judon reacts after sacking Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II.

OLB Matthew Judon - 6-foot-3, 261 pounds (fifth-round pick out of Grand Valley State in 2016)   

Grade: A- (Blue-chip player and elite) 

Scouting Report 

A big, lumbering and physical presence with awesome raw power and playing strength. Shows burst and chase. Menacing, nasty presence. Stand-up LB who lines up on either side. Showed a quick first step, sometimes too quick (can draw offsides penalties anticipating the snap). 

Instinctual pass-rusher who relies on speed and pure power to get it done. Sets sight on QB. Able to power and muscle his way through to get into the pocket and be disruptive. Short-area burst. Hammers QB. 

Consistently showed ability to use lanky, powerful arms to lock out blockers off the edge, come off blocks and make impact tackles against the run. Able to absolutely blow people up. Tossed a Patriots receiver aside like a rag doll. 

While his forte is applying pressure and playing the run, has deceptive speed, and is able to roam, chase and track down sideline-to-sideline and downfield. Wants it. Good motor. Gets fired up. Able to provide adequate coverage when called upon. Impressive player. Consistently showed up on film throughout the 2020 season and at a high level.  

Now, why should Judon sign with Detroit? Bottom line: This guy is a baller who would instantly make the Lions better. 

From day one, he would be the "guy," and he would set the tone for Detroit. 

Judon adds much shaper teeth, to go along with that Lions "roar."

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