Matthew Judon is utterly disrespected in PFF's latest rankings

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New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages

When looking at the Patriots roster over the last three years, only a few players have been consistently productive and worth every penny of their contract. Although saying a few would be accurate, there's really one guy who has been the most game-changing addition who will likely go down as one of Bill Belichick's best free agent signings of his career;

Matthew Judon.

The former Raven is in a category of his own since signing with the team during the 2021 spending spree by the historically cheap head coach/general manager, and he's looking more and more like a steal as he enters the final year of his contract this season.

He's broken multiple franchise records and was on pace to make even more history before he suffered a season-ending injury last season. Judon has often been the leading force in keeping the Patriots close in games, yet he's not being recognized as such by those outside New England.

Matthew Judon is utterly disrespected in PFF's latest rankings

It's the point in the offseason when analysts, experts, and even fans are putting together various rankings as we head into the 2024 season. Pro Football Focus is on a ranking kick right now, with one of their latest being the 32 best EDGE defenders in the league.

Despite his impressive performances since 2021 and the unmatchable production he has brought to Foxboro, Judon did not rank nearly as high as he should have on PFF's list. In fact, he didn't even make the top 20.

Instead, writer Trevor Sikkema placed him at number 26 without any real explanation.

"Judon missed most of the 2023 season with a biceps injury but still managed to record an overall grade above 70.0. However, his 61.4 pass-rush grade was his lowest since 2017, as was his 8.5% pass-rush win rate. He’s a smart, reliable veteran, but the 31-year-old's ceiling may be declining."

It would make more sense if the decision to rank him lower were mainly because he only played in three and a half games last year, but that's not the basis of Sikkema's opinion. He feels he saw a decline from Judon last year, three just three full games, and anticipates that will continue this season.

From what most people saw in 2023, it was too early to conclude Judon's production was going to be any different than what he'd shown the two years prior. Before he left the Week 4 matchup against the Cowboys, he had already recorded 13 combined tackles, five tackles for a loss, nine quarterback hits, a safety, and four sacks.

What part of that feels like slowing down?

On top of that, he was just one season removed from competing for a top-3 spot among the sack leaders for the 2022 season, which he ultimately tied with Chris Jones in fourth with 15.5. Nick Bosa finished the season with 18.5, only three more than Judon.

There doesn't seem to be any evidence to back up what PFF is claiming about Judon, and it's probably fair to expect he will come out swinging this fall. He's already said he will be playing with a vendetta, and hopefully, it will be with a new contract extension under his belt.

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