Matt Judon: 2016 DE Prospect

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Matt Judon is my first prospect for our 2016  “The Guys No One is Talking About” series. I can’t figure out for the life of me how he ended up in a Division II program. His intangibles and athletic ability are among the best in the nation.

matt Judon

Matt Judon definitely made some money on Sunday with an outstanding showing at the 2016 NFL combine. He has been on my radar for a while now, but I wanted to see how he compared with the top Division I athletes before posting my scouting report.

Matt Judon won the Gene Upshaw Trophy as the Division II’s top lineman and was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s (GLIAC) Defensive Lineman of the Year and was listed on the Associated Press’ Little All-American squad.

Will all of the players we profile in this series become Pro Bowl players or even solid starters in the NFL? Absolutely not. Some may become solid special teams guys, backups, or not make final cuts in training camp. Others may have to begin their careers in another league such as the CFL.

We are firm believers in the Landry three year rule. Some of the players from “The Guys No One Is Talking About” series will need some time to develop, so please reserve any negative opinions on these guys until they have had a chance to do so. However, for those of you who are familiar with the series, you know many have gone on to have solid careers in the NFL. This series is about getting these guys some recognition.

Matt Judon amassed 81 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss and led the entire nation with 21 sacks in 2015. He will need to prove himself against NFL caliber offensive lineman, but he made a statement on Sunday at the 2016 NFL combine  being a top performer in the 40 yard dash, the bench press, and the vertical jump. He posted better numbers in all three categories than Ohio State Standout Joey Bosa, who is considered by many as the best DE prospect in this class.

Matt Judon has a simple explanation for his NCAA-leading sack total in 2015.

“It’s almost like you see those plays in slow motion but you’re going so fast,”

Sacks are nothing new for Judon who led the GLIAC last season with 8.5. But his 2015 total has gotten the attention of some top NFL scouts.

“I know defensive numbers but I don’t get too caught up with individual numbers,” Judon said. “I just know that every sack I get or the line gets or the linebackers get, it just helps create momentum for our defense.”

matt judonMatt Judon, DE

Height|Weight: 6-3   275

College: Grand Valley State

Arms: 33-7/8″

40 Time: 4.73 (Top Performer)

Vertical Jump: 35″ (Top Performer)

Bench Reps: 30 (Top Performer)

Grade: 79.5

Round: 4-5

2014: First-Team All-GLIAC…Daktronics Super Region 4 First-Team selection…GVSU Defensive Lineman of the Year…Recorded 72 total tackles (36 solo/36 assisted), 19.0 tackles for loss (-84), 8.5 QB sacks (-66) and 12 QB hurries…Led the GLIAC in QB sacks and ranked second in TFL…Tallied a TFL in 10 games and five or more tackles in eight games…Recorded seven tackles (3 solo/4 assisted) in opener Azusa Pacific (9/4)…Notched 12 tackles (3 solo/9 assisted) and 1.5 TFL (-6) at Ferris State (9/20)…Tallied a career-high 14 tackles (11 solo/3 assisted), 5.5 TFL (-24) and 2.5 QB sacks (-19) at Findlay (10/25).

matt Judon

Film Study:

  • Matt Judon has the height and length I look for in a defensive end and a wide, powerful upper body to go with it. He has a slim mid-section and thick muscular legs that give him explosive burst out of his stance. Above average snap anticipation and converts his speed to power well. Non Stop motor and top notch endurance. Elite athletic ability. Moves very well laterally and in reverse. Uses his speed to impel across the face of the blocker. Smooth athlete with good bend and flexibility to get skinny and stunt back inside. Plays with good arm extension to keep tackles at bay.


  • Matt Judon plays with excellent balance when turning the corner and knows how to get under the arms of the tackle. Relentless in pursuit and exhibits above average closing speed. Can play in close quarters or in space. Solid form tackler who takes good angles. Good instincts and always around the ball. Gets his hands up to disrupt passing lanes. Has the athletic ability to drop in to coverage. Plays with patience. Excellent read-react skills. Long strong arms make it difficult for ball carriers to get around him. Good character and high IQ.


  • Matt Judon needs to use his hands more. Needs to improve his technique. Leaves his chest open at times. Due to poor hand technique he struggles to get off of blocks once tackles get inside with good hand placement. Tends to rely on his athletic ability too often. Raw prospect.

Overall, Matt Judon has the size, strength, length, instincts and athletic ability to develop into an elite edge rusher at the next level. His quickness makes him a good fit at right defensive end. With all of the tools Judon has, any NFL coach who can’t develop this guy in to an All-Pro pass rusher should be coaching high school football in Alaska.

I put a mid round grade on him simply because he needs to learn to use his hands better and I have not been able to see him against better competition. However, he was a man among boys in Division II football. After all, he demonstrated he is not only stronger, but a better athlete than Joey Bosa. With proper coaching, the sky is the limit.

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  • Al

    Damn Cas, how did ya find this kid? Looks like the real deal. You are on the ball as usual. Nice damn job. You have a nose for finding pass rushers kiddo.

    • Thank You. I had good teachers lol. You wont find a higher ceiling in a mid to late round pick.

      • BigDIndiana

        Good find, 4th round comp pick would be a great spot to give him a try value wise if he is still there

        • That’s what I was thinking lol

        • ya know? After his showing at the combine, he may go up.There are teams who jump based on athletic ability and measurables alone.

          • BigDIndiana

            After looking at the guy making to the late 4th is probably wishful thinking. Hard pegging where he might go but I don’t think he makes it past the 3rd
            . Mario Williams got released and might be a good stopgap for a 1 year contract. Vernon got tagged from Miami.

          • Wouldn’t a team have to assume the tail end of that huge contract Williams signed? The same way Denver had to pick up Ware’s?

          • BigDIndiana

            Not sure but I would pass on that big contract if it is the case. Our 3rd pick would probably be last shot. If we did the trade for the 2nd picks and had 3 I might target him for the last pick in the second

          • I like that idea a lot. This draft is deep with DL. A trade down is the best way to go.

          • BigDIndiana

            I am also warming to the idea of shaq or dodd if we trade back a few for a DE. Bosa might have a bit of 3 tech flex in him too but I think these guys at just DE are about as good. I really want those extra picks for a 1 tech and CB in 2nd. And Jack Crawford resigned for depth is vital as he can play all 4 spots. But likely we stay put and take your boy Jack 🙂

          • I like Shaq or Nassib a lot. My uncle busted Bosa out lol:

          • BigDIndiana

            Al is your uncle? Yep let him have it LOL You see Buckners hand size? 11 3/4 holy cow that is huge, never heard that size before. Size of a piece of paper length wise, he could just palm guys and throw them LOL

          • Yup. I never heard of hands that big either lol.

          • Don’t even get me started on drafting an injured guy with no 2015 tape, no combine results and a 1 trick pony who needs to learn to play the run at 4. We have a Will and that is his best position. No One with a brain uses the 4th overall pick on an injured player.

          • That’s the scary part he looks good on film too. The first time Al did his scouting report on tank, most had him mid to late rounds. Then we ended up having to trade up in to the 2nd to get him. This guy is actually more quick twitch than Tank, but Tank was better coached at Boise.

            You’re right it’s a random guess at this point where he may go. I remember Chandler Jones (my guy no one is talking about) was projected 2nd to 3rd following the combine and NE traded back up in to the 1st to make they sure they got him.

  • Al

    I was just looking at the bench press stats for all of the DL participants. I was disappointed to see Robinson only did 21. This kid doing 30 with all but 34″ arms is just crazy. Lawson, Jack and Ragland didn’t lift. I am surprised at Lawson,but expected as much from the other two. I could tell they lack upper body strength. Scooby did 22 which is pretty good for a LB, but I actually expected more. A lot of the LBs put up less than 20.

    • I expected more too as well as a better 40 time, but hey, Burfict ran 5.01 and he is doing fine as an NFL top 10 LB. Scooby’s instincts and burst make up for his lack of straight line speed. Linebackers very rarely run more than 10 yards and his split was solid.

    • BigDIndiana

      Jack did lift….19

  • Johnathan Nguyen

    Hope he wears the star. He has a high ceiling and that fast twitch RM likes. Good find Cas!

    • Thank You. He is definitely a quick twitch player John.

  • Lionone1

    ah! You know how I love when you scout DE’s 🙂

    • Thank You Lion. This guy is a beast I tell ya. The arrow points wayyyy up.

    • Like I told BTUSA: Don’t sleep on Tapper either. He has a 1.59 10 yard split. That is a
      very quick get-off. If he can improve his technique, he is a pure speed
      rusher like Von Miller. Al is going to run a report on him.

  • boysteamusa

    Coaching HS football in Alaska……LOL….too funny…….Judon would be an absolute steal!

    • Yes he would. Don’t sleep on Tapper either. He has a 1.59 10 yard split. That is a very quick get-off. If he can improve his technique, he is a pure speed rusher like Von Miller. Al is going to run a report on him.