Patrick Queen, LSU’s defensive MVP of the national championship game, was the third of 14 Tigers picked in April’s draft. Queen was taken by the Baltimore Ravens and is expected to be the Ravens starting middle linebacker from day one. To project Queen’s immediate future, Baltimore Beatdown’s managing editor Kyle Barber joins us today. You can follow him on Twitter @BB_KyleBarber.
1. Baltimore has taken two middle linebackers in the first round in its history and both worked out exceptionally well: Ray Lewis and C.J. Mosley. Is Baltimore confident Queen can hit those lofty expectations?
The Ravens brass were rather happy they got their guy and did so without trading up to land him. He’s a good linebacker with exactly the tools to compliment the pieces already on the roster. He has range, size and speed to make the plays when necessary. I believe he can be yet another great middle linebacker in the NFL.
2. What made Queen so appealing to the Ravens? Is he a starter from day one?
The range and speed are the most exciting pieces to Queen’s game. He is smart, young and quick to diagnose plays. He is certainly a day one starter both due to his skill level but also due to the Ravens inside linebacker situation being less than formidable prior to the drafting of Queen.
3. Finally what is the expectation for Queen in year one with the Ravens? Is he the missing piece that gets Baltimore back to a Super Bowl?
Queen is joining a loaded defense filled with All-Pro talents and big-name playmakers. The secondary consists of Earl Thomas III, Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. The front seven includes Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, Brandon Williams and Matt Judon. The expectation isn’t for him to be a world-beater but rather to hit anything that manages to cross the front four I just mentioned. Don Martindale, the Ravens defensive coordinator, will also enjoy the Queen addition seeing as his scheme last year minimized usage of the inside linebackers due to the lack of talent when compared to other areas of the field. With Queen and Malik Harrison joining the defense, they can make solid plays but not be so heavily relied upon to come in and dominate.