Patrick Queen will have a make-or-break season in 2023, not only for the Baltimore Ravens but overall for the course of his career. If the Ravens are not the team paying him, some other team is, and his play in 2023 will dictate which team, and how much.
Year four expectations for Patrick Queen with Baltimore Ravens
One way to set a baseline of expectations is to compare him to a similar group of players. Myles Jack, Eric Kendrick, Darron Lee, Benardrick McKinney, Shaq Thompson, and Leighton Vander Esch all were drafted in a similar range to Patrick Queen and all had similar starts to their career.
Below you can see how they looked in year four.
Leighton Vander Esch
Considering Patrick Queen hit 100 tackles twice and hit 98 tackles in his other season, you would think that he could match Kendricks and McKinney here. He has also hit five tackles for loss in each of his three seasons. Three quarterback hits are his low, but last season he was at 10.
The issue will come down to coverage. After six passes defended as a rookie, he has three in the past two seasons. That would come in well below the rest. His yards per target allowed was 6.8 last year, but it was up at 8.7 the year before that, and 7 the year prior. So these are the numbers that will hold him.
The league is shifting to be more pass-happy at a time when Queen is more comfortable moving downhill. This is where the contract issues come into play.
What is also interesting to note is that five of these six players re-signed with the team that drafted them. Four of them signed market-setting extensions, while Vander Esch tested free agency and re-signed with Dallas.
Only Darron Lee did not re-sign with the team that drafted him, and he fell out of the NFL a year or two later. At least in the past ten years, when a linebacker produces like Queen after getting drafted as high as he did, they see a contract offer. Unless Queen falls on his face next season in the same way that Lee did, someone is going to pay him. It is interesting to see that we are so sure that Baltimore will not, despite him being right with some of these guys who did sign big deals.
Still, Vander Esch being the last linebacker of this group to test the market, and seeing a cold response will not help Queen, at least with the Ravens.