Ravens: 4 players the team can’t afford to lose to injury in 2021

Ravens, Lamar Jackson
Ravens, Lamar Jackson /
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Ravens, Patrick Queen
Ravens, Patrick Queen Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Patrick Queen, LB, Baltimore Ravens

Let’s compare the rookie seasons of two linebackers who the Ravens drafted in their respective draft’s first round.

The first was picked 26th overall, and he racked up 110 total tackles, one interception, and 2.5 sacks. The second was picked 28th, and he logged 106 total tackles, one interception, and 3.0 sacks.

The first — Ray Lewis, a first-ballot Hall of Famer. The second — Patrick Queen.

While it’s not fair to compare Queen to Lewis — nor to suggest that Queen and Lewis are in the same stratosphere — it’s worth noting that rarely does a linebacker live up to their potential in their rookie season.

In Lewis’ second season, for example, his tackle total skyrocketed to 184, and he was voted to his first Pro Bowl. There are signs that Queen could take a similar year-two leap.

Queen was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 5 of the 2020 season. He finished third in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. He also forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles, and scored a touchdown.

All this while starting the season out of shape, by his own admission.

"“Coming into last year, I didn’t get spring time, couldn’t train really anywhere, so I came into the season out of shape. This year, this is a whole lot better. I get to train now, I get to see my teammates early and get the communication down and stuff. It’s only up from here.”"

Queen could be in for a big year in 2021.