It was a rare day for the Ravens.
By drafting Patrick Queen, Baltimore not only grabbed the best player available on their board, but they also filled a key area of need at inside linebacker.
Queen can be a three-down player — adept at stopping the run, able to drop back in pass coverage and attack the quarterback. His versatility makes him a dangerous weapon for Baltimore defensive coordinator Don Martindale.
"I know Patrick [Queen] can play all three downs, but no matter where he’s playing, we’re going to have him right up our alley so that doesn’t change our personality in that way," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He can play in a lot of different spots. You can line him up on the edge, you can take him back or blitz, drop him in zone coverage or drop him to the deep middle of the field if you want. We have depth at defense, too. He’s going to be versatile for us.
"He can cover [running] backs, move guys around. We [can] play him at different spots. We give him different job titles or responsibilities – pretty much every single different call. I’m excited about that. Very versatile skillset – a perfect fit for us.”
The Ravens received solid reviews for the decision to grab Queen without having to part with any of their nine draft picks.
— Sports Illustrated's Andy Benoit gave Baltimore an A- in the first round. He said: "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)."
— Chad Reuter, of NFL.com, gave the Ravens an A for selecting Queen. He said: "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."
— Eric Edholm, of Yahoo Sports, said the Ravens earned an A- in the first round. He added: "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."
— Pete Prisco, of CBS Sports, gave Baltimore a B. He said: "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."