ESPN ranks Patriots’ Matthew Judon as prime cross rusher in AFC East


Matthew Judon has recorded 28 sacks over his two seasons with the Patriots.

Patriots LB Matthew Judon does his celebration move after he recorded a first half sack. The New England Patriots hosted the Indianapolis Colts in a regular season NFL football game at Gillette Stadium.
Matthew Judon has established himself as among the finest cross rushers within the NFL. (Jim Davis/Globe Workers)

The 2023 Patriots might need some query marks on the offensive facet of the ball going into coaching camp. However defensively, New England returns various key contributors who put collectively spectacular 2022 campaigns.

Chief amongst them is exterior linebacker Matt Judon, who tormented opposing offensive strains all season lengthy.

Given his spectacular stat line (15.5 sacks, two pressured fumbles in 17 video games), it comes as little shock that Judon garnered loads of reward from NFL circles in ESPN’s newest positional rankings.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler compiled a rating of the highest cross rushers within the NFL, searching for the opinion of NFL league executives, coaches, scouts and gamers. 

Judon positioned eighth on the checklist of the highest NFL cross rushers, incomes the highest spot amongst all AFC East gamers. Buffalo Payments cross rusher Von Miller ranked ninth on the checklist.

After averaging 6.9 sacks per season over his first 5 years with the Ravens, Judon has been on a tear since arriving in Foxborough. After becoming a member of the Patriots in 2021, Judon has recorded 28 sacks, whereas additionally posting 58 quarterback hits.

“He has the best traits — now he has the elite manufacturing to match,” an NFL coordinator advised Fowler.

One in every of Judon’s teammates may make a compelling case for subsequent yr’s checklist in Josh Uche. The 24-year-old linebacker had a breakthrough 2022 season with 11.5 sacks over 15 video games.

Right here is the complete checklist of ESPN’s rankings:

  1. Nick Bosa, 49ers
  2. Myles Garrett, Browns
  3. Micah Parsons, Cowboys
  4. T.J. Watt, Steelers
  5. Haason Reddick, Eagles
  6. Maxx Crosby, Raiders
  7. Brian Burns, Panthers
  8. Matthew Judon, Patriots
  9. Von Miller, Payments
  10. Joey Bosa, Chargers