The Baltimore Ravens have one of the best secondary units in the NFL, but unfortunately, their other defensive corps don’t get as high a ranking.
The Ravens’ linebacker corps, in particular, has failed to make significant strides forward as Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison haven’t yet lived up to their potential.
Queen was struggling so much in 2021 that Baltimore brought back veteran Josh Bynes, and Bynes will join the team for yet another run in 2022 until Queen puts together consistent performances as a starter.
A duo of Bynes and Queen stabilizes the Ravens’ linebacker room a bit, but the unit as a whole still pares in comparison to the rest of the league.
Pro Football Focus’ Seth Galina ranked every NFL team’s linebacker corps in 2022 and had the Ravens in 17th place:
"“The Ravens are still looking for that breakout year from Patrick Queen after two subpar seasons. He at least improved upon his 29.7 grade as a rookie with a 43.5 mark in Year 2. Next to him is the underrated Josh Bynes, who returned to Baltimore in 2021 after one season in Cincinnati. In 2019 and 2021 with the Ravens, he graded out to 80.0 and 74.8, respectively.”"
It should be noted that Galina only included true off-ball linebackers, so 3-4 outside linebackers like Odafe Oweh weren’t taken into consideration.
The Baltimore Ravens have only a middling linebacker room in 2022
Bynes admittedly served as the unsung hero of the Ravens’ 2021 season and could yet again make a crucial impact in the team defense.
In 14 games played, Bynes recorded 76 tackles and two sacks and, as Galina notes, earned very respectable Pro Football Focus grades in his last two seasons in Baltimore.
Queen, on the other hand, remains an unproven liability who has displayed flashes of talent but struggled to stay productive in coverage last year.
He along with Harrison are touted to be the faces of the linebacker unit for years to come, but both will need impressive performances in 2022 to earn the team’s confidence.
The Ravens have a tough decision at the end of this upcoming season on whether to pick up Queen’s fifth-year option, so Queen is indeed entering a make-or-break season in Year 3.
The Ravens made major improvements to their secondary this offseason, but maybe they also should give their linebacker unit another look.