Ravens Trade Proposal Gets Familiar Edge-Rusher for 'Late-Round Pick'

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Ravens Trade Proposal Gets Familiar Edge-Rusher for 'Late-Round Pick'

The Baltimore Ravens can reunite with edge-rusher Matthew Judon in a trade scenario involving a "late-round pick" in the 2024 NFL draft.

The Baltimore Ravens can reunite with edge-rusher Matthew Judon in a trade scenario involving a "late-round pick" in the 2024 NFL draft.

Eric DeCosta

Getty Eric DeCosta can reunite the Baltimore Ravens with an All-Pro edge-rusher in a trade scenario involving a "late-round pick" in the 2024 NFL draft.

Eric DeCosta brought Kyle Van Noy back, but the Baltimore Ravens still need help in the pass-rush department. Help familiar face Matthew Judon could provide as part of a bargain trade scenario that would only cost general manager DeCosta a “late-round pick” in the 2024 NFL draft.

The modest value is what Marcus Mosher of Pro Football Focus believes 31-year-old Judon might command if he’s dealt by the New England Patriots during the draft. Mosher pointed to Judon’s season-ending torn biceps injury and how the veteran “played just 184 snaps last season after being injured in Week 4. However, he is still one of the NFL’s best pass-rushers despite his age. He’ll turn 32 in August, but could still help out teams in need of pass rushers.”

Judon could draw a crowd of trade suitors because Mosher thinks the “overall depth of the class isn’t ideal” in terms of rookie edge-rushers. That means the “Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams, and New Orleans Saints could all be interested in Judon for a late-round pick. Don’t be surprised if the Patriots try to ‘do right’ by Judon and put him in a situation where he can win right away.”

The Ravens qualify as a team ready to “win right away.” Judon would feel right at home back at a place where he developed his game and played some of his best football.

Matthew Judon Would Be Typical Veteran Steal for Ravens

DeCosta and the Ravens know how to find bargains on the veteran market. It’s what they did when they signed Jadeveon Clowney to a modest one-year contract last offseason.

Clowney delivered by recording 9.5 sacks and nine tackles for loss, before signing with the Carolina Panthers in free agency. Judon makes sense as a like-for-like replacement for Clowney.

A draft steal as a fifth-round pick for the Ravens in 2016, Judon elevated his game as a pass-rusher once he signed with the Pats. Judon logged 12.5 sacks in 2021 and 15.5 more quarterback takedowns a year later.

He still had 11 pressures, two hurries, five QB knockdowns and four sacks to his credit before injury last season. Including this safety against Zach Wilson and the New York Jets in Week 3.

Judon can still put heat on the pocket as well as anybody when he’s healthy. DeCosta can afford to forego late-round draft capital to bring Judon back to M&T Bank Stadium and pair him with Van Noy to restore the veteran double act that worked so well last season.

Trade a Smart Move for Ravens

Re-signing Van Noy was a smart play, but there’s still room for another established pass-rusher. The Van Noy and Clowney duo were key to the sophisticated pressure schemes that helped the Ravens lead the NFL with 60 sacks last season.

Judon has the same versatility and savvy Van Noy brings to the field, so he’d fit a system that should stay the same, despite Zach Orr replacing Mike Macdonald as defensive coordinator. Putting Judon and Van Noy together would ease the burden on Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo to carry Baltimore’s pass rush.

Dealing away a late-round choice to put Judon into the mix for Orr would be easy to justify. Taking a late-rounder in compensation should also be an easy sell for the Patriots, who retained younger edge defenders Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings in free agency.

DeCosta has the ammunition to make this trade work. A fifth-round pick, one in the sixth and two seventh-round choices.

Any one of those, or perhaps both sevens, ought to be enough to help the Ravens find out what Judon has left.

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