Ravens inside linebacker Patrick Queen finished third in voting for The Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year, it was announced Saturday night.
Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young was the runaway winner, earning 42 ½ votes, ahead of Carolina Panthers safety Jeremy Chinn (4 ½ votes), Queen (two) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (one).
Queen, the Ravens’ first-round pick and No. 28 overall selection, became the team’s youngest-ever defensive starter (21 years and one month) in Week 1 and started all 16 games. He finished with a team-high 106 tackles (66 solo), three sacks, nine tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown), an interception and a pass defense.
Queen’s the first rookie since at least 2000, when data became available, to record at least 100 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a defensive touchdown. He also had 13 quarterback pressures, according to Pro-Football-Reference.
Still, there’s considerable room for improvement. According to PFR, he missed 21 tackles, or 16.5% of his attempts overall, one of several Ravens defenders who struggled to finish plays. In coverage, he allowed 41 completions on 54 targets for 366 yards and three touchdowns, amounting to a passer rating of 104.4. Pro Football Focus rated him the NFL’s second-worst off-ball linebacker.
Overall, Queen played 858 defensive snaps in 2020, over 80% of the total share. Coaches and teammates routinely praised his diligence and athletic gifts.
“He’s very coachable,” coach John Harbaugh said last month, as the Ravens prepared for an AFC divisional-round game against the Buffalo Bills. “He works very hard, and he’s smart. He learns from coaching. He learns from practice, and he learns from game experience.
“So [with] all of those things, now he has a lot of football under his belt. He’s continued to improve steadily throughout the year. He and I just had that conversation yesterday about 1% improvement every day. He brought it up; it’s something that we talk about a lot. However many days we’ve been at it, I’d say he’s at least that much better than he was when he first got here as a pro football player. So he’s done a very good job.”