Matt Ioannidis doesn't have the name recognition of first-team All-Pros Aaron Donald or Fletcher Cox. He doesn't have the eye-popping stats of Arik Armstead, who already has 10 sacks and two forced fumbles for the San Francisco 49ers.
What Ioannidis does offer is consistent excellence as a run stopper and a pass rusher, and it's this versatility that makes the Redskins defensive lineman a prime Pro Bowl candidate.
"[Matt Ioannidis] is definitely a person that walks the walk, not a talky talk guy," teammate Tim Settle said. "He's really one of them "pop it off" kind of guys. You gotta play him true because he's gonna expose you. That's just how he is as far as strength and then there's his power, quickness. He utilizes quick points and he takes advantage of it."
Ioannidis is having a career year in his fourth NFL season. The fifth-round pick out of Temple currently leads the Redskins with 7.5 sacks -- no other player has more than five -- and nine tackles for loss. He's also tied for first with Ryan Kerrigan in quarterback hits (13), fourth in total tackles (52) and tied for fifth in solo tackles (33).
During his first three NFL seasons, Ioannidis combined for 65 total tackles, 28 quarterback hits, 12 sacks and nine tackles for loss.
|2016-2018 (38 games)||2019 (12 games)|
|Tackles For Loss||9||9|
Ioannidis' numbers are even more impressive considering the young talent Washington has along the defensive front. Among the unit are four first-round picks, including three (Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Montez Sweat) who were drafted in each of the past three years. The fourth is Kerrigan, a first-round pick from 2011 who's currently second in franchise history with 89.0 career sacks.
Yet 12 games into the 2019 campaign, Ioannidis leads the group in nearly every category that pertains to defensive linemen. He's been its best player at stopping the run and getting to the quarterback, all while playing more than 75% of the defensive snaps, which is fourth-highest on the team.
"He's always willing to work, he admits his wrongs and his faults and corrects them and learns from them," safety Landon Collins said of Ioannidis. "When you see that in a player, you're gonna get a lot of great things from him, you're gonna get a lot of building, you're gonna get a lot of consistency."
Furthermore, Ioannidis stacks up quite well when comparing him to all NFL defensive tackles. He's currently tied for third in sacks behind Donald and Armstead and tied for fourth in total tackles behind Cam Heyward, Grady Jarrett and Davon Godchaux.
When looking at both statistics simultaneously, Ioannidis is the only defensive tackle in the league with more than 50 total tackles and at least 7.5 sacks.
"We all play different, but [Ioannidis] is one person you can't mess up on because he's gonna embarrass you," Settle continued. "He's gonna get into you first, he's definitely initiating contact, he's definitely hitting someone in the mouth first, just relentless in his effort. He's one of them guys that you're gonna feel."
This offseason, the Redskins made a commitment to Ioannidis by signing him to a multi-year extension. And entering the final stretch of the 2019 season, that moves seems to be paying off big time.
Now, let's help Ioannidis accomplish another milestone: his first Pro Bowl appearance. (Vote HERE.)