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Ravens OLB Matt Judon deserves more playing time

The Ravens have everything to gain in seeing Matt Judon develop

Baltimore Ravens v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

While still early in the preseason, the lack of pass rush seen from the Ravens defense has been alarming. The cooler heads will mention absence of pass rushers in Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs as the core reason for the disappointing start but the issue runs deeper.

While outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith is much improved, he is not - at this point - the kind of player who is going to consistently beat first team offensive tackles, especially on the blind side. In his present form, Smith offers upside as mismatch player.

The Ravens have been using the five technique defensive end - usually Lawrence Guy - as the pass rusher opposite the rush linebacker on early downs. This is where Matt Judon should get a chance to shine, granted, in a slightly wider alignment.

Judon has been the Ravens best player in the preseason. The slap and rip move he put on display to beat Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Le'Raven Clark was the kind of move expected to be seen from Dumervil. Judson has the skills. Judon does not have the experience, but the fastest way to have him balance the disparity is to not only give him snaps but to give him snaps against the best.