Patrick Queen came into the league with high expectations and is ready to live up to them. He was the Baltimore Ravens’ top overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of LSU and is just the third inside linebacker to be taken in the first round in the history of the franchise.
The two other players at this position that were taken in the first round since the team’s inceptions are Ray Lewis, who led the Ravens to a pair of Superbowl titles during his illustrious Hall of Fame career, and CJ Mosley who earned four Pro Bowl bids and the nickname ‘half-man-half-amazing’ during his five years with the team.
Queen showed a lot of promise and playmaking potential as a rookie, and finished strong in his second season after a rocky start that was marred by inconsistency. Thus far in his career he has started every game and recorded 204 total tackles including 19 for loss, 13 quarterback hits, five sacks, three pass deflections, three fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, one interception, and one touchdown.
He feels like he has progressed well during his first two years in the league and believes his game will rise to another level in year three.
“I just feel like that level is just going to keep rising every year, every year, every year, and it’s going to get better and better,” Queen said. “This is just Year Three, so now it’s time to put it all together; it’s time to display it Week One and throughout the whole season, consistently.”
While the Ravens added more talent and depth to both the defensive line and secondary, one of the underrated moves they made during the offseason was bringing back Zach Orr to be their inside linebackers coach. After a congenital neck issue ended the former undrafted gem’s playing career following a second-team All-Pro season in 2016, his coaching career began with the team before serving in the same role for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021.
He will be quite an asset to first-year Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald’s staff and instrumental in Queen’s growth and development. Having a younger coach that can relate better to younger players and is a former player himself is invaluable when it comes to bringing out the best of those under their tutelage.
“ZO is an All-Pro, so he knows what he’s talking about, he knows what he’s doing,” Queen said. “It’s everything I need.”
In addition to bringing back Orr to be Queen’s coach off the field and in meeting rooms, they also retained his coach on the field and mentor in the locker room with the re-signing of veteran linebacker Josh Bynes to extend his third stint with the team.
“I’ve got somebody that I know I can trust, I’ve got somebody that I know I can talk to, and I’ve got somebody who’s going to talk to me,” Queen said. “There’s always something that you could do better, and they see that, because they’ve been there for so long, [and] they know how to master those things. So, just being able to get that feedback from him helps me out a lot.”
Becoming an every-down player, Queen needs to have a more complete game in terms of having a better feel for the pass as well as the run, being able to read and diagnose quicker, and mastering the playbook.
“I feel like I’ve got that down pat now,” Queen said. “It’s just a point of me going out there and proving it and doing it over and over on a consistent basis this time.”