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Ravens News 4/24: Queen grades and more

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 31 Georgia Southern at LSU Photo by Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ravens Draft Linebacker Patrick Queen in First Round - Ryan Mink

“This was kind of a no-brainer for us,” General Manager Eric DeCosta said.

“It was a long, long, long wait, but it all worked out,” Queen said on a video conference after the selection. “I feel like I’m going to bring everything to the table that their defense is known for, the passion, aggression, just total dominance of the defensive side. … It’s a brotherhood over there. You can see it from past years, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs. It’s just so much passion.”

“He really is legit,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “His best football’s in front of him, he’s got some really good tape behind him this year. He’s really a riser. They play a pretty complex system there at LSU. I think he’ll fit our scheme very well. For us to come away with Patrick Queen is a big win.”

“He can cover, he can blitz, he can do a lot of different things,” Director of Player Personnel Joe Hortiz said. “That’s a huge piece to have.”

2020 NFL Draft Tracker - Sports Illustrated

28 Baltimore Ravens

GRADE A-

Patrick Queen LB | LSU

The Ravens entered the draft with no starting-caliber linebackers on their roster. Now they found one who has the athleticism to play on passing downs. Problem solved. Or, at least, potentially solved. Queen only started one season at LSU and the Ravens have a complex matchup-zone scheme that requires middle-of-the-field players to make reads and adjustments on the fly. The Ravens are also a proudly physical team and some scouts don’t regard Queen as that style of player.

It’s an incredibly tall order for this particular linebacker to step in and contribute right away on a Super Bowl-ready team. But Queen is gifted, he improved noticeably over the course of 2019 and the Ravens have one of the best young assistant coaches in the league in linebackers coach Mike MacDonald. And because the Ravens so often play with dime personnel—meaning six defensive backs and just one linebacker—MacDonald can focus solely on Queen when he’s on the field in dime (which, this team hopes, will be on a majority of snaps).

Live analysis of the 2020 NFL Draft - PFF

PICK 28: BALTIMORE RAVENS — LB PATRICK QUEEN, LSU

The Baltimore Ravens had a need at linebacker, and as the top off-ball linebacker remaining on our board (27th overall), Patrick Queen makes a lot of sense for that Baltimore defense. He is athletic, explosive and smooth in coverage, something he showed with an 81.8 coverage grade in 2019. That is a winning combination for NFL linebackers. On a Ravens defense that likes to move players around and mix up how they blitz and drop players into coverage, Queen is a perfect fit. It’s a role he can thrive in.

INSTANT ANALYSIS: RAVENS SELECT PATRICK QUEEN - Draft Network

Queen was slow to breakout, but his tape throughout the majority of 2019 showed a more well-rounded linebacker. He is nimble, fluid and shows good instinct in coverage, making him a logical first-down linebacker in the modern NFL. Look for Queen to step into a starting role immediately and be one of the more high-impact rookie defenders of 2020.

Our scouts say: “Queen projects well as a starting linebacker in the NFL. He’s got the sideline-to-sideline range to step into a MIKE role and has the impact in pass coverage to serve as a three-down linebacker. He isn’t a thud linebacker and excels most when he’s afforded free range to scrape and flow, but his football IQ does allow him to beat blockers to the spot. Queen is an impact starter and a viable plug-and-play rookie.”

The 2020 NFL Draft First-Round Grades - Danny Kelly

28. Baltimore Ravens: LB Patrick Queen, LSU

The Ravens’ pick offers a strong contrast to that of the Seahawks. Queen is the prototype of a modern off-ball linebacker, a fluid, instinctive backer with athleticism and incredible versatility to play in coverage, as a blitzer, and as a run defender. He’s logged just one season as a full-time starter but shows the natural ability to scan the field to quickly diagnose where opponents are trying to go with the ball. He’s a natural mover in space with a good feel for routes developing in front of him and can flip his hips smoothly when dropping back into coverage. Plus, he brings the explosiveness and agility to blitz from multiple angles. Queen is an ascending player whose best football is in front of him. Love this pick, and love the fit.

Grade: A+