Ravens coach John Harbaugh on Matthew Judon’s development in second year: “I’m looking for a great player.”
The Ravens selected Matthew Judon in the fifth round of last year's draft for his ability to pressure quarterbacks on obvious passing downs. But the outside linebacker is eager to prove that he is more than just a pass rusher.
"I want to be a complete player," he said after Thursday's organized team activity. "I don't want to only come in on second-and-long and third down. I want to play all three downs."
Judon might have a chance to make good on his intention. Elvis Dumervil was released in March and signed with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday, and Za'Darius Smith had just one sack and 20 tackles last season after making 5½ sacks and 30 tackles in 2015.
Judon, who finished with four sacks and 27 tackles in his rookie year, acknowledged that he wants to top the depth chart opposite fellow outside linebacker Terrell Suggs.
"I think every player in the NFL wants to start and go out there and show what they've got every down," he said. "So yes, I want to start, but like I said, that's up to the coaches. They're going to put whoever is the best fit and whoever is going to win us the most games."
Judon, who has switched his jersey number from No. 91 to No. 99, said he worked in the offseason on improving his speed to run down quarterbacks and running backs. He said his comfort level has grown after his first season.
"A year under my belt, more comfortable out here," he said. "I know the system a lot more, more studying because I had the playbook the whole offseason. So a year really makes a difference."
Judon committed four special-teams penalties in a five-game stretch as a rookie, and is still working on that part of his repertoire. On Thursday, he was the target of some choice words from special teams coordinator/associate head coach Jerry Rosburg during a kick coverage drill.
Afterward, Judon quipped that the biggest lesson he learned from last season was avoiding penalties on special teams. Coach John Harbaugh did not shy away from offering his expectations of Judon.
"I'm looking for a great player," he said. "I think he's going to be a great player. The thing about him is, he gives everything that he's got. He works hard, he maxes out in the weight room, he maxes out on the practice field, he's into it in meetings, he knows football. I'm looking for a difference-maker type of defensive player."