Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs has taken notice of the Ravens' fifth-round rookie pass rusher.
Matthew Judon has notched a sack in each of Baltimore's first three preseason games. He would have had two in the second game in Indianapolis, but stats don't count on two-point conversion attempts.
"Well, he gets on the passer," Suggs said. "I think he got [a sack] in every game so far, so that's pretty good. When you can rush the passer by community, it makes you a pretty much deadly team, and we like that."
Judon's preseason flashes underscore the Ravens' improved depth of pass rushers this year. As Suggs suggested, Baltimore should have a host of players that can get to the quarterback.
Last year, the Ravens struggled to get sacks once Suggs tore his Achilles in Week 1. Elvis Dumervil led the team with six, but only one other player (Za'Darius Smith) had at least five.
Now the Ravens have Suggs back and added Judon and second-round pick Kamalei Correa to the mix. Undrafted rookie Victor Ochi is another promising pass rusher who notched a sack against the Lions in Saturday night's game. It's unclear whether Ohio will make the team, however.
Judon's sack against the Lions stood out from his previous takedowns. In the first two preseason games, he played against the opponent's second- and third-string offensive linemen.
With Smith sidelined, the Ravens gave Judon a chance with the starters. He beat Lions starting right tackle, and 2012 first-round pick, Riley Reiff around the edge with a combination of speed and power. The small-school Grand Valley State product, who led college football in sacks last season (20), also knocked the ball loose from quarterback Dan Orlovsky, though the Lions recovered.
"I thought [Judon] stepped up. I thought he answered the call," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He played fast.
"The speed of the game for him, coming from the Division II level, it's way faster. This is way faster than the SEC, let alone where he's used to playing. But he's really catching up with the speed."
After the second preseason game, Harbaugh said Judon is a "gamer" because he had been playing pretty good in practice but really well in games. Judon was asked about that again after Saturday night's win.
"If I'm a gamer, let me continue to be a gamer," Judon said. "I've just got to step up my intensity in practice."
Judon's quick start may be enough to prove that he should be active on gamedays and utilized in pass-rush packages. In order to do that, he would also likely have to contribute on special teams.
The rookie said he needs to improve his all-around game. While he's getting after the quarterback, Judon will also be required to handle his business against the run if he's going to see a larger role.
"I've got to play more physical in the run game," Judon said. "We've got to stop the run. We have to earn the right to be a pass rusher. But I made one play out there, and we've just got to keep flying to the ball."