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 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.”
Height|Weight: 6-3 275
College: Grand Valley State
40 Time: 4.73 (Top Performer)
Vertical Jump: 35″ (Top Performer)
Bench Reps: 30 (Top Performer)
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 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.