Ravens: Is it time to be concerned about Patrick Queen?

Ravens, Patrick Queen (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Ravens, Patrick Queen (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens entered the 2021 season hoping to see some of their young players take that next step. Chief among those players was linebacker Patrick Queen.

The 28th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Queen was one of the youngest players in the NFL when he made his professional debut only days after turning 21-years-old.

It was a rollercoaster of a rookie campaign for Queen who combined flashes of athleticism and rangy, playmaking abilities with coverage gaffes and missed tackles.

The hope was that the Ravens would see a more consistent version of Queen in 2021, especially after a full offseason of development.

But although there were signs of significant improvement in Week 1, Queen has since reverted back to his 2020 self.

Ravens LB Patrick Queen has had an up-and-down sophomore NFL season so far

The same issues that plagued Queen as a rookie have caused issues again this season. He’s missing tackles at a rate far above the league average and has once again struggled in coverage.

Queen has missed more tackles than any linebacker in the NFL with nine through just four games. Only safety Daniel Sorensen of the Kansas City Chiefs has missed more tackles (10).

That’s not just a quantity stat either. Queen is currently third behind teammate Tyus Bowser and Ben Niemann of the Chiefs in missed-tackle percentage with the young linebacker missing nearly 25 percent of his tackle attempts.

That number is actually up from his rookie season where Queen finished with a missed-tackle percentage of 18.3 percent.

Missed tackles have been a consistent issue for the Ravens defense so far this season and Queen has been at the forefront of that issue.

Meanwhile, he’s had his fair share of difficulties in coverage as well. Queen ranks eighth among all qualified linebackers in receptions and yards allowed in coverage.

His 30.0 Pro Football Focus coverage grade is identical to the one he finished with last season. PFF grades aren’t everything (especially when it comes to linebackers), but you can’t really dispute the fact that he’s been tagged for 175 yards on 17 receptions in four games.

The biggest shame in all of this is the promise that Queen showed in Week 1.

Queen put together one of the most complete performances of his young career against the Las Vegas Raiders finishing with a PFF grade of 70.6 missing just one tackle and allowing only two catches for 20 yards.

But since then, he hasn’t finished a game with a PFF grade north of 40.0. Again, PFF grades hardly tell the whole story, but it hasn’t been difficult to pinpoint Queen’s struggles over the last few weeks.

At just 22-years-old and possessing the raw, natural abilities that Queen does, it would be incredibly foolish to give up on the former LSU star so soon.

It’s fair to be concerned, but we’re still just 20 games into his NFL career. Queen was always someone who was expected to take some time to adjust to the NFL game.

Progress is necessary, and that lack of progress has probably been the most disappointing part of his 2021 season so far. But there have been a few players where he’s been right there.

Whether it was a block shed a moment too late, one false step that created an open running lane, or a brief misstep in coverage, Queen is close to breaking through.

Much like in his rookie season, however, the Ravens just need to see more consistency out of him. The splash plays are fun, but he’s still a ways away from putting it all together.

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Will Patrick Queen ever put it all together? That remains uncertain.

But what is certain is that it’s far too soon to write him off just yet.