The Ravens made a statement for the defense in the first round of the 2020 Draft.
Patrick Queen of LSU measured 6-foot-0, 229 pounds at the NFL Combine, lighter than the two inside linebackers drafted before him – Kenneth Murray (6-foot-2, 241 pounds) who went No. 23 to the Los Angeles Chargers, and Jordyn Brooks 6-foot-0, 240 pounds) who went No. 27 to the Seattle Seahawks.
If there is an implication that Queen will not be physical enough or strong enough to become a star in the NFL, he is not trying to hear it. Ray Lewis fell to the Ravens at No. 26 in the 1996 draft, partly because some scouts didn’t think Lewis (6-foot-1) was tall enough or fast enough to be a standout inside linebacker.
Queen is the next Ravens’ inside linebacker being asked to become a force in the middle of their defense. Queen says he is up for the job, and he admits that being labeled “undersized” rubs him the wrong way.
“I’m not going to lie to you man, I’m so tired of hearing that,” Queen said. “I heard it all the way through college. It didn’t matter. I played perfectly fine. Coming into the league, I’m going to be strong, I’m going to be fast, and I’m going to be smart and just try to bring that mentality I had in college into the NFL and turn it up a lot more.”
“When you think about Ray Lewis, you think about an elite linebacker – speed, physicality, aggression, dominance,” Queen said. “I feel like I’m more mobile than he was. Not taking anything away from him, he was a great linebacker, probably the best to play. But I’ve got a lot to live up to. The bar is set high.”
Comparing any rookie to Lewis isn’t fair, but Queen is bound to hear Lewis’ name a lot while playing in Baltimore. Reacting to the Ravens’ pick Thursday night, quarterback Lamar Jackson referred to Queen as “Ray Lewis Jr.”