Royalty has come to Baltimore in the form of Patrick Queen. As the Ravens’ only first-round pick, Queen will come to the team in hopes of starting at ILB for the 2020 season.
After the Jets signed Patrick Onwuasor, the Ravens’ previous starting ILB, Harbaugh and DeCosta had to draft an NFL-ready ILB in the first round. Even though the team had needs at OG and WR, the dynamic duo made a strong choice drafting Patrick Queen.
So, what class of player is Queen and is he worthy of the Ravens first overall pick?
What makes Queen tick?
Like many great college football players, Patrick Queen was not a full-fledged starter until his third season at LSU. Filling in at times during the 2018 season for former LSU Tiger, now Buccaneer, Devin White, Queen learned what it means to earn your position. He asked head coach Ed Orgeron how to improve and how to become a successful starter. And improve Queen did! In April 2020, he told the Baltimore Sun he had “a lot of patience and self-determination to get back on the field… But every opportunity I got, I took full advantage and tried to make the best out of my opportunity.”
Queen’s ability to earn his position and to seek ways to improve speaks to his character. He has a solid work ethic and really wants to show what he can do to help his team win. Queen proved this fact last season by helping the Tigers win the National Championship with an 8 tackle, 2.5 for a loss, game.
Queen’s self-improvement was apparent to Coach Orgeron as well. “He kept improving, one game at a time. At the end, he became one heck of a football player. He’s a high-character kid,” Orgeron told the Baltimore Sun in April 2020.
Queen will bring his “high-character” to a Ravens team already believing in self-determination under John Harbaugh. Patrick Queen’s personality will be a great fit with Harbaugh who will respond nicely to Queen’s self-determination.
What makes him the Queen?
The 6’0’’ 229 lb linebacker showed he has all the potential in the world following his championship-winning junior season at LSU, and his time at the Combine. The one aspect of Queen’s play, catching the eyes of coaches and fans, is his speed and playmaking ability. A former running back at Livonia High School, Queen definitely demonstrates he has been there and done that with precise changes in direction and downhill speed. After achieving a 4.5 second 40 at the Combine, which is a great time for a linebacker, it’s clear Queen’s play-style is ruled by his ability to move on the field.
Queen complements his speed with the ability to make plays. Read-and-react really works well when you have Queen’s speed, which is reflected in his solid junior season stats. In 2019 alone, Queen racked up 85 total tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception, and 12 tackles for a loss. This really paints a picture of how Queen reads the offense and reacts using his tremendous speed to make big tackles.
Queen also exhibited his versatility as a linebacker at LSU. He is the type of player who can stay on the field for a whole drive simply because he can do everything. Considerable at both man and zone coverage, he is talented at reacting to the running game. Queen’s speed and 76.8 inch wingspan allows him to cover quick receivers and receiving backs. These attributes help Queen in zone, too, so he can shrink down the gaps in the middle of the field. Queen’s solid versatility as a linebacker gives him a huge reason to become the Ravens’ starting ILB in 2020.
The reigning college football champion may be fast and versatile, but another factor posing huge positives for the Ravens, and especially the coaching staff, is how Queen will develop and learn his position. Having only one full year of starting experience under his belt, everything Queen has displayed is based on pure talent alone. He doesn’t have an instinct for the position yet, which means he will become even smarter and more versatile after every coming season.
What Improvements can Queen make?
While Queen does present numerous positives for the Ravens, like most other college football players, there are areas of improvement.
For instance, Queen is only a one year starter. While he had a great junior season and played in big games, one year of starting experience is not much when transitioning into an NFL setting. With a lack of action comes the question: is Queen ready to start for the Ravens? This is a decision for Harbaugh to make in the coming months.
Queen’s aggressive play-style is another form of his game calling for enhancement. While he does have good playmaking ability, in college he often became too aggressive, which led to missed tackles. This will show against big and fast runners who are not easily tackled. Since the Ravens are playing Derrick Henry’s Titans at least once next year, this calls for concern, just ask Earl Thomas.
Patrick Queen has all the athletic ability to be a first-round pick. He had a tremendous season last year at LSU and could be a huge defensive weapon for the Ravens as soon as this year. His personality and work ethic already meshes well with Harbaugh and the team, and shows Queen’s potential.
Simply put, Queen was a great pick by the Ravens and will likely payoff to be a main contributor very soon. All eyes will most certainly be on Patrick Queen come September.