Has potential to develop good read-nd-react skills
Good in space
Good in zone coverage
Has man-coverage potential
Lack of experience
Instincts are emerging
Needs to get stronger to shed blocks
Can get tied up by blockers
Has to improve ability to break sustained blocks
Summary: With star linebacker Devin White moving on to the NFL, Michael Divinity and Jacob Phillips were expected to step up as the top middle defenders for the Tigers in 2019. But rather than either of those two, it was Patrick Queen who stepped up to lead the LSU defense during the 2019 season. Queen broke out with a total of 85 tackles with three sacks, an interception and two passes defended on the year. He was red hot to close out the season and was a key defender for the National Champions. Queen could have stood to have more refinement before going to the NFL, but he decided to leave LSU early for the next level.
The first thing that stands out about Queen is he can really run. The ultra-fast linebacker gave proof of that at the combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.50 seconds, which is a phenomenal time for a linebacker. On the field, there is no doubt that Queen has elite speed with athleticism and fluidity in the open field. He doesn't have stiffness and moves like a defensive back in a linebacker's body. Immediately, Queen is going to upgrade the speed at the second level for his NFL team.
Queen is well suited for pass coverage in today's NFL. He is a smooth mover in the open field with the speed to run vertically down the middle seam. Queen is skilled in zone coverage to flow with the play and cover a lot of ground. After some further development, he could be an asset in helping to cover running backs and tight ends in man coverage. Queen also is a dangerous blitzer who eats up space in a hurry to put pressure on the quarterback. With his speed and athleticism, Queen is a great fit for the modern pro game, as he can be a three-down starter who provides a plus defender in coverage.
As a run defender, Queen uses his sideline-to-sideline speed to shut down perimeter runs. He flashes good vision and uses that to weave through trash to get in position to finish plays. For the next level, Queen needs to get stronger to take on and shed blocks. Downhill runs straight at him can give him problems, and he has a hard time shedding blocks when offensive linemen and some tight ends lock onto him.
Team sources say from an instincts perspective, Queen is still developing, which is a good way to describe it. He flashes some good instincts on some plays with good decision-making on when to fire his gun. On other plays, he can seem to react a hair late and take a false step or two before redirecting. As team evaluators have pointed out, Queen did not play a lot in college, so he does not have a lot of experience. Thus, there is some rawness to Queen and he needs development in the NFL.
At the next level, Queen's best fit would come as a Will - weakside - linebacker in a 4-3 defense. In a 3-4, he could use a heavy and tough Mike linebacker next to him.
Some team sources think Queen could go as as top-20 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but others say late in the first round, while some even say Round 2. That's a wide range, but Queen will go early on the second night of the draft, if he gets there.
Player Comparison: Deion Jones. In the NFL, I think Queen could be similar to Jones. Jones (6-1, 222) is almost identical in size with great speed and athleticism. Jones was a second-round pick out of LSU in the 2016 NFL Draft, and Queen should not go any lower than the second round this year.