Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison were two of Baltimore’s draft picks this offseason. Currently, the Ravens have a lot of depth at linebacker, but bringing in Queen and Harrison shows that guys like Tyus Bowser, LJ Fort, Pernell McPhee, and Jihad Ward may be expendable in the near future. Yet, what makes these two linebackers great fits for the Ravens future?
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For starters, Patrick Queen was arguably the best linebacker in this year’s draft. The Ravens selected him with their first round pick to fill a position that really lacked some star power on the Ravens roster.
Queen is special not just because of his physical measurables, but because of his skillset. Built like a linebacker, Queen runs like a corner. This allows him to be an elite coverage linebacker which is definitely something that’s needed at the NFL level. With the game evolving into a pass heavy league, linebackers need to be great in pass coverage, and that’s Queen’s game.
Yet, that doesn’t mean Queen can’t stop the run. Although he is a better linebacker in coverage, he has sideline to sideline speed that helps him attack the football, and explode on opposing running backs.
However, in this year’s Ravens draft class, the real run stuffer is Malik Harrison, who the Ravens picked up in the third round. This offseason the Ravens really emphasized getting run stopping specialists after Derrick Henry single handedly beat Baltimore in the AFC Divisional Round. That’s why Baltimore spent considerable resources on bringing in Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, and Harrison to the Ravens organization.
Harrison is a terrific run stuffer that excels at getting into opposing backfields and holding opposing running backs to negative yard gains. Last season at Ohio State, Harrison tallied up 75 combined tackles, which included 16.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Although he isn’t as nimble in pass coverage, Harrison fits what the Ravens front office wanted to bring to the roster.
Plus, with the wealth of good defensive talent coming out of LSU and Ohio State in the first few rounds of the past few NFL drafts, it wouldn’t be crazy to suggest that Queen could follow the shoes of Devin White, while Harrison could end up being the next Raekwon McMillan or Jerome Baker. All in all, the Ravens have found two outstanding linebackers that fit Wink Martindale’s system, and it should be exciting to see how Queen and Harrison pan out in the heart of Baltimore’s defense.