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2020 Baltimore Ravens Offseason Tracker

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This chart really support the feeling I had watching Judon these past couple of weeks.

Rarely double teamed but also rarely winning that matchup. Now, his win percentage on on-on-one matchups wouldn't be good either.

The question is, if Judon is more versatile than Ngakoue and what is that versatility worth?

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Posted (edited)

A couple notes about that chart,

- Yannick is 24 and had a down year in a clearly dysfunctional environment while dealing with injuries. Yet still ended up among the upper echelon rushers, and according to Jax fans he also showed more life against the run this year. If that's the 'floor' his game currently offers, while he's still in phase 1 of his development- I'm not going to complain.

- Clowney commands double teams, still wins, and he can be moved all around the front like ZDS. That's something that isn't brought up much. He's a disruptive rusher inside, often from a 2 point, as well. Top tier defender against the run too.

 

Judon is a luxury weapon. He has a high football IQ, can diagnose quickly, and has the burst to really mess up a play if he's left unblocked or matched up against a really poor blocker. He'll have his wins against a Rick Wagner or Mitchell Swartz now and then, but at the end of the day he's a C/C+ rusher who's played with the best secondary in football and within a scheme that constantly lets him avoid double teams. He's weak against the run, and is too limited to be a legitimate coverage piece. He'll be turning 28 this year and has shown limited to zero technical progression from the start of his tenure with us to now. Unlike ZDS who added to his toolbox every offseason. 

I understand those who don't want to repeat a ZaDarius situation- neither do I. Judon though, is the clearest case of a "Let him walk" player we've had in a while.

Edit: Forgot to mention, I also think Judon has conditioning issues or just a limited gas tank. He routinely fades and starts sucking wind on extended drives. And we know there's no problems with our conditioning program. 

Edited by DreamKid

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Danand said:

This chart really support the feeling I had watching Judon these past couple of weeks.

Rarely double teamed but also rarely winning that matchup. Now, his win percentage on on-on-one matchups wouldn't be good either.

The question is, if Judon is more versatile than Ngakoue and what is that versatility worth?

One point of order on reading the chart... his overall win rate appears to be fairly good. He's at about the 70th percentile of the league, it appears. He just isn't doubled as much. Interpreting this plot can be a bit tricky in that one may expect win % to go up as double team % goes down, but that's not the whole story. It may be a bit bidirectional in that the best pass rushers, who by virtue of talent/ability have a greater win %, then attract more double teams. So in some cases double team rate may actually follow win percentage. At the end of the day, it's indisputably good to be in the top half of the chart, where one falls left/right takes a bit more interpretation.

So, possible narratives/interpretations for Judon's positioning (non-exhaustive):

- He has above average pass rush success (in terms of winning the edge rush battle), but this is a result of him rarely being doubled
- He has above average pass rush success, but teams simply don't respect him enough to double him as a result of that success, for whatever reason
- There's something hiding in pass rush win rate that would make his win % not necessarily equivalent to that of another player, thus teams don't feel the need to double him as a result
- There's something different about the Ravens scheme that changes how teams play them in terms of protection - he has a strong win rate but teams are unable or unwilling to respond via doubling him due to other concerns

While there may not be one true answer, I'm somewhat inclined to believe the last bullet is the best reasoning. As Ken McKusick has often pointed out, the Ravens blitzed/manufactured pressure at a much higher rate than the rest of the league in 2019. Here's a Football Outsiders article that explains it quite well:

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/film-room/2019/film-room-ravens-defense

Quote

 

Per Pro Football Reference, the Ravens blitz on 54.4% of their plays. The next-closest team to them is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 44.3%. Even the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were highlighted in Film Room in part because of their blitzing, only come in at 36.%. The league-wide median for blitz percentage is 28.1%, which is about half the frequency that the Ravens send their blitzes.

While it has not necessarily resulted in fantastic pressure or sack numbers, the all-out attack often forces quarterbacks to speed up their process and feel pressure before any pass rush actually arrives. Simply being aware of blitzers being sent can be overwhelming for a quarterback, and that is especially true versus a suffocating Ravens secondary.

 

Teams may not be able to commit additional blockers to Judon, because they need to be worried about other rushers beyond the standard four quite often. Additionally, Ravens were frequently playing with the lead, so more likely that teams would be inclined to send more receivers into routes, rather than keeping additional blockers in to enable such double teams.

Is this the right answer? I don't necessarily know, but I think it's worth trying to understand the story that this data actually tells.

EDIT: 

As I re-read this, I think points #1 and #4 may seem to overlap, but I think there's a slight difference. Narrative #1 would suggest teams don't double Judon for some reason and he wins the pass rush battle more often than his true talent would generally result. Narrative #4 is almost the reverse, he's a good (not great) pass rusher who has a good win rate - teams would prefer to double him more in response to this, but scheme prevents it.

It's probably somewhere in between the two, but I think it's an interesting discussion.

Edited by sp6488

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And for the record, I said earlier in the season that I thought Judon was a good franchise candidate. If we pay him tag $$, then so be it for one year of what should be his prime. Would rather not see a long-term contract unless it's particularly team friendly. 

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For what it's worth I'm fine with the team letting Judon walk if he actually will command any kind of serious money on a long-term contract. I'm somewhat skeptical that his deal will actually end up being huge since NFL teams have all the access and knowledge about him as a player that we do and far more beyond that. But it only takes one bad decision I guess...

Anyways, I'm just hesitant for them to just let him walk without any kind of guarantee that another quality free agent is coming in. Baltimore's front seven is very thin and not particularly great. I have high hopes for Bowser but until Martindale actually starts giving him a good chunk of snaps then what does it matter. Ferguson is just a guy at this point. McPhee is old and coming off of an injury while also being a free agent. Judon isn't great, but the dude can take snaps and at least not be terrible. Most of the time. And yeah, I think he has stamina problems too. But something is better than nothing - which is what the Ravens have currently. Relying on a high draft pick or two won't change that either.

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37 minutes ago, coordinator0 said:

For what it's worth I'm fine with the team letting Judon walk if he actually will command any kind of serious money on a long-term contract. I'm somewhat skeptical that his deal will actually end up being huge since NFL teams have all the access and knowledge about him as a player that we do and far more beyond that. But it only takes one bad decision I guess...

Anyways, I'm just hesitant for them to just let him walk without any kind of guarantee that another quality free agent is coming in. Baltimore's front seven is very thin and not particularly great. I have high hopes for Bowser but until Martindale actually starts giving him a good chunk of snaps then what does it matter. Ferguson is just a guy at this point. McPhee is old and coming off of an injury while also being a free agent. Judon isn't great, but the dude can take snaps and at least not be terrible. Most of the time. And yeah, I think he has stamina problems too. But something is better than nothing - which is what the Ravens have currently. Relying on a high draft pick or two won't change that either.

That's why I think letting him play under the tag makes a ton of sense. I think familiarity may be breeding contempt a bit here. He's not a superstar, but he's a quality NFL pass rush piece. Overpay a bit to guarantee a competent piece in the front-7 while we also bring in a high draft pick to be the future. Get what should be one of his prime years and let another team buy the decline next offseason. 

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Per PFF- 

The first point to note is that at 55.2%, the Ravens were by far the most blitz-happy team in the NFL last year, which generated a lot of favorable looks for Judon on the edge. Of his total pressures, 57% were either unblocked or clean up, which is the highest rate of anybody in the league with 50 or more pressures. When he was one-on-one with a blocker, his PFF grade wasn’t any better than it had been in previous seasons — he just reaped the benefit of a dramatically better environment for a pass-rusher. In effect, the Ravens were able to scheme pressure up front, and he was one of the principal beneficiaries of that. If you’re not going to do likewise in 2020, beware of a drop in production. And if you are going to do likewise, consider a cheaper option to reap the same benefit.

% of total pressures that were charted as clean up/pursuit pressure (edge defenders, 2019, min. 50 total pressures)
Name Pass-rush Snaps CUPP%
Matthew Judon 404 56.5%
Harold Landry III 513 51.0%
Kyle Van Noy 416 50.9%
Dante Fowler Jr. 476 50.7%
Markus Golden 477 50.0%

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If we tag Judon, I'd probably rather trade him for a relatively high draft pick, but if we keep him that's not too bad a scenario. It's such a steep price though.

Could we spend $15 million on defensive players and replicate Judon's production? I'd say probably yes. But you never know how things will go in free agency, it would be a gamble to rely on the free agent market. 

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4 hours ago, AngusMcFife said:

If we tag Judon, I'd probably rather trade him for a relatively high draft pick, but if we keep him that's not too bad a scenario. It's such a steep price though.

Could we spend $15 million on defensive players and replicate Judon's production? I'd say probably yes. But you never know how things will go in free agency, it would be a gamble to rely on the free agent market. 

Give me Gerald McCoy and I'll tell you, yes! I think that 15/16 million tag Judon about to get can be spent A LOT better elsewhere. But I'm with @RavensTillIDie back up the brinks truck for Clowney.

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I’m all in on Clowney. Impact player against the run and in our scheme I see his pass rush productivity only increasing with how often we blitz to get him 1on1 opps.

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Mario Addison. Thats my FA signing.

convince me Clowney/Ngakoue are worth the 6m more it'll take to sign them. 

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9 hours ago, RavensfanRD said:

Give me Gerald McCoy and I'll tell you, yes! I think that 15/16 million tag Judon about to get can be spent A LOT better elsewhere. But I'm with @RavensTillIDie back up the brinks truck for Clowney.

Of course I'd love Clowney but I'm skeptical we can afford him. Some teams have $80 million in space.

How about this scenario? If the Ravens are guaranteed to NOT sign Clowney and Ngakoue during free agency, do you want Judon back?

I can see signing McCoy to upgrade the front 7 buts he's a lot older, didn't really light it up last year, and chose to not sign with us after visiting.  

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9 hours ago, AngusMcFife said:

Of course I'd love Clowney but I'm skeptical we can afford him. Some teams have $80 million in space.

How about this scenario? If the Ravens are guaranteed to NOT sign Clowney and Ngakoue during free agency, do you want Judon back?

I can see signing McCoy to upgrade the front 7 buts he's a lot older, didn't really light it up last year, and chose to not sign with us after visiting.  

I'm personally not a fan of spending the money its gonna take to keep Judon. As Vinnie Cerato eloquently put, he's a Robin. And with that perspective, why am I going to pay a Robin Batman prices? I wouldn't mine him back, but not at the number it will take. I think getting Clowney is a pipe dream, but a dream that I'll continue to have until he's officially on another squad. McCoy is older, but I think he can still help this defense in spite of him choosing the Panthers. I'd kick the tires just to see where his mind is.

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