Here’s what experts from publications around the country are saying about the Ravens’ draft after the first round, which saw the team select LSU linebacker Patrick Queen at No. 28 overall.
NFL.com: “Baltimore had a major need at inside linebacker. The Ravens stayed put at 28 and let their guy Queen fall to them, in typical Eric DeCosta fashion. Queen plugs right into the starting lineup, will fly into holes and to the sideline to attack ball-carriers.” Day 1 grade and analysis: A
CBS Sports: "I love this pick. I think Queen is going to be a star in this defense. I think this kid’s range is outstanding. He can go sideline to sideline." Grade: B.
Sports Illustrated: "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)." Grade: A-
Pro Football Focus, in naming Queen among their favorite picks: “We may not have a massive sample size on Queen, but we saw enough to know that he’s the type of linebacker we’d covet in the NFL. With 4.5 speed and explosiveness that help him play bigger than his listed 227 pounds, the 20-year old Queen is exactly what the Ravens defense has been missing — a weapon as a blitzer who’s also versatile enough to cover the slot in a pinch. Queen allowed only 23-of-33 targets to be caught for 171 yards in his coverage all year long.”
The Ringer: “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+
SB Nation: “This was the pick the Ravens needed to make. He is a sideline-to-sideline linebacker with a high motor. Queen can patrol the middle of the field for the Ravens and make a ton of plays. His comparison for me was C.J. Mosley. After building out their defensive line this offseason, Queen is a great fit for the Ravens, and he was the best player available.” Grade: A+
Sporting News: “The Ravens didn’t address linebacker in the first wave of free agency, and they need more speed on the second level to better handle the run and cover short-to-intermediate routes. Queen (6-0, 229 pounds) has great range when either working downhill against the run or moving all over the field in coverage. He is relatively small but is the type of linebacker who can have a major impact from any alignment.” Grade: A
USA Today: “This is how good teams stay good. The Ravens just landed the perfect modern linebacker. Is he undersized? Sure. But he’s a quick thinker who can fly all over the field. This is the perfect draft pick: Baltimore got good value, filled a need and found a guy who fits perfectly in their scheme.” Grade: A
Yahoo! Sports: “The Ravens made a great pick? I am stunned. This is GM Eric DeCosta following in the footsteps of his mentor Ozzie Newsome and finding a young, ascending playmaker in Queen with vast upside as a three-down linebacker.” Grade: A-