The fan voting process for this year’s NFL Pro Bowl Games — the redesigned version of the league’s all-star game — is in the books, and Matthew Judon ended it as the AFC’s top vote-getter at his position. A total of 154,780 participants trusted the New England Patriots outside linebacker with their vote.
It is not hard to see why. Judon, after all, is one of the most disruptive players in the NFL so far this season.
Appearing in all 14 of the Patriots’ games so far this year, he is ranked second in the league with 14.5 sacks and has been credited by Pro Football Focus with 59 total quarterback pressures. He also forced a fumble and has so far registered 50 tackles.
A fifth-round draft pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2016, Judon arrived in New England last offseason via a four-year, $54.5 million free agency contract. The return on investment so far has looked good from a Patriots perspective: he immediately became a starter in the team’s defense and has now set new career-highs in sacks in back-to-back seasons.
Now, Judon also appears to be on his way to earn his fourth straight Pro Bowl nod. While the fan vote is only one third of the process alongside players and coaches, it is a reflection of the impact the 30-year-old is having again this season.
The 2023 Pro Bowl Games, which will replace the traditional all-star contest that has been held annually since 1951, will see the AFC go up against the NFC in a series of flag-football-based competitions. The event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 5 at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium.