Ravens need Patrick Queen to take a huge second-year leap

Ravens, Patrick Queen Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Patrick Queen Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens saw flashes of greatness from linebacker Patrick Queen in his rookie season. But for the team’s defense to truly excel in 2021, they’re going to need Queen to take a massive step forward in his sophomore NFL season.

By no means did Queen have a bad rookie season. Sure, he had his fair share of coverage gaffes, mental lapses, and inconsistencies, but he also flashed the potential he showed at LSU.

Queen was always considered to be a project coming out of college. His athletic profile was unmatched, but he needed to continue ironing out the kinks in his game before he could be considered a reliable NFL starter.

We saw that in 2020. But the miscues were paired with plenty of highlight-reel plays as well.

The Ravens are hoping to see an improved Patrick Queen in 2021.

Queen’s struggles can largely be attributed to a number of factors that plagued him in his rookie season. For starters, the lack of a true offseason was certainly detrimental — especially for someone like him who needed all the reps he could get.

He’s also publicly admitted that he wasn’t in great shape until a few games into the season last year, likely a direct result of the lack of offseason workouts.

That’s changed this year as Queen showed up to OTAs in the best shape of his life. He’s hoping that his extra dedication off the field shows up on Sundays.

The Ravens defense desperately needs Queen to be the player he has the potential to be too. The linebacker corps will be heavily leaning on the second-year pro.

Not only is Queen a three-down starter and one of the most important players on their defense, but he’s the lone standout in an otherwise unproven linebacker corps.

L.J. Fort is an underrated player, but he’s hardly a three-down linebacker. The same could be said for Chris Board. And 2020 third-round pick Malik Harrison showed promise in year one, but he’s never going to be the athlete that Queen is.

In a way, the fate of the Ravens’ linebackers — and perhaps the defense as a whole — could come down to how well Queen plays.

We’ve seen numerous players take that big leap in their second NFL season. Look no further than someone like Mark Andrews for evidence of that.

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Could Patrick Queen be the next second-year phenom? The Ravens sure hope so.