Why the Slide?: Patrick Queen

Why the Slide?: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell

Six years ago, we started a series of articles on why certain prospects went undrafted. In that series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. We got a lot of positive reader feedback about the series, so we decided to expand in the genre to investigate why some prospects slid in the draft. Four years ago, we started the Why the Slide? series, and this year it is back. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.

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. In a breakout season, Queen totaled 85 tackles with three sacks, an interception and two passes defended on the year. He was red hot to close the season and was a key defender for the National Champions. After the season, Queen had an electric combine with a 40-yard dash in 4.50 seconds, so many thought Queen could go as a top-20 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

In speaking to team sources, there was some variety in where teams were grading Queen. I know of a team picking in the top 20 that had Queen in contention for its pick, but there were some other teams that felt had Queen in the second round. Even though there is a break in the rounds that causes many to change expectations, teams often don’t see a big difference in the players coming off the board in the late 20s and the ones being drafted in the early 40s. Thus, Queen was selected in line with where the majority of the league saw him.

The Ravens had a need at inside linebacker and were fortunate to have Queen fall to them in the first round. In the Baltimore defense, I think Queen will be a sideline-to-sideline heat-seeking missile. I could see him being a good contributor in pass coverage while also providing some splash plays on blitzes. Given what Baltimore is bringing back at the position, Queen could be a plug-and-play starter who enjoys a long productive career if he stays healthy. With good talent around him, Queen could become a quality starter as early as his rookie season.

2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 23

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

NFL Picks - Feb. 12