With the 2022 NFL season officially behind us, PFF revealed the most improved player for all 32 teams last season. Inside linebacker Patrick Queen was listed as the most improved for the Ravens in 2022.
“Queen has flashed at times throughout this three-year career in Baltimore, but the consistency just wasn’t there,” PFF’s Gordon McGuinness wrote. “While he was still a little up and down for the Ravens this past season, we also saw the longest stretches of improved play. After improving his PFF grade from 29.7 to 43.5 from 2020 to 2021, Queen once again saw a huge jump in 2022, including career highs in PFF run-defense grade (64.6) and PFF coverage grade (65.5).”
The 2020 first-round pick finally turned the corner in his third NFL season, becoming one of the biggest playmakers for Baltimore’s vaunted defense down the stretch of the schedule. Although Queen’s improvement was already evident earlier in the season, he really exploded with the arrival of All-Pro inside linebacker Roquan Smith via trade midseason. The two quickly became one of the fiercest linebacker duos in the league by feeding off of each other's strengths and energy on the field. Smith was quickly rewarded with a market-setting five-year, $100 million contract, leading to doubt regarding Queen’s long-term future with the Ravens.
During a press conference following the season, General Manager Eric DeCosta did not comment on whether or not the team would exercise Queen’s fifth-year option, which was recently revealed to carry a $12,722,00 million price tag. Even if Queen’s performance continues to rise, it would be difficult to devote so much cap space to two inside linebackers, especially if quarterback Lamar Jackson is signed to a massive long-term deal. If Queen is not in the team’s future past the next season or two, then DeCosta could look to find value in the trade market for the talented young linebacker.