OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Lamar Jackson placed high expectations on Patrick Queen on Thursday night when the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player connected the Baltimore Ravens’ first-round pick with one of the greatest middle linebackers to ever play.
After the Ravens used the No. 28 overall pick on Queen, Jackson shouted, “Ray Lewis Jr.!” on Instagram Live.
Like Lewis, Queen fell to the bottom of the first round. Lewis was the Ravens’ No. 26 overall pick in 1996.
And like Lewis, Queen dropped because of being undersized for the middle linebacker position.
Lewis reached 12 Pro Bowls in 17 NFL seasons (1996 to 2012), winning two Super Bowls and two NFL Defensive Players of the Year awards. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.
Queen, 20, is only the third inside linebacker selected in the first round by the Ravens, joining Lewis and C.J. Mosley (2014). He was LSU’s second-leading tackler last year, his first full season as a starter.
Known for his speed and being a sideline to sideline tackler, Queen was named Defensive Most Valuable Player in the national championship game after recording eight tackles, including 2.5 for loss, and a half of a sack.
“I’m not really making comparisons, just looking at Patrick [Queen] for who he is as a player. He really is legit,” coach John Harbaugh said when asked about Queen and Lewis. “For us to come away with Patrick Queen is a big win.”
Queen said he’s motivated by the fact that two other inside linebackers — Kenneth
Murray at No. 23 and Jordyn Brooks at No. 27 — were selected ahead of him. One of the reasons why Queen likely fell is he weighed in at 229 pounds, which is 6 pounds lighter than what Lewis was entering the draft 24 years ago.
“I’m not going to lie to you man, I’m so tired of hearing that,” Queen said about the criticism for being undersized. “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. I feel like I haven’t even reached my full potential yet, so the sky is the limit.”