Why Dont’a Hightower thinks Josh Uche is ‘like a little (Matthew) Judon’

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New England Patriots outside linebacker Josh Uche took over during one of the New York Giants’ series on Thursday during joint practices. Uche had a series of plays where he logged a sack and drew a holding penalty on back-to-back plays. The Giants offensive line jumped offsides after that, perhaps with Uche’s speedy rushes looming large in their mind.

Later in practice, Uche logged a second sack and even managed to force a throwaway from Daniel Jones when the Giants quarterback wanted to check down to Saquon Barkley in the flat, but Uche had the running back covered.

“He’s like a little Judon, almost,” Hightower said Thursday. “Honestly, that’s big brother, little brother. He brings a lot of energy. A different energy. A younger, generational energy. But I love it. He’s a hard worker. He’s always asking questions. It’s never a dull moment around Uche, I’ll say that.”

That’s a comparison to a $56-million man. Not bad.

Uche, a 2020 second-round pick, has looked freakishly fast during practices, and put together a strong second preseason game against the Eagles’ second-string offense. The outside linebacker position is deep, from Judon to Kyle Van Noy to Chase Winovich to Anfernee Jennings. But Uche seems to have earned his snaps on third down, at the very least.

“Really talented. Loves football,” Van Noy said of Uche. “Plays with a lot of passion and as he keeps putting himself one step further each and every day the better off he’ll be.”