There are plenty of top prospect options the Falcons could select in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. It just all depends on who’s available at No. 16 and what void the Falcons want to fill first.
LSU’s stud linebacker, Patrick Queen could be their guy at the No. 16 pick, according to Pro Football Network’s Neal Driscoll.
Driscoll said it might come by surprise since another Falcons prospect, C.J. Henderson could still be up for grabs. However, the Falcons can address the cornerback position in another round or free agent.
Considered a Playmaker
That’s just what the Falcons need on defense since they couldn’t quite figure it out last year. NFL.com has Queen ranked at No. 15 in this year’s NFL draft class. Here’s what NFL analyst, Daniel Jeremiah has to say about him:
“Queen is an undersized linebacker with outstanding burst, instincts and coverage ability. Against the pass, he is very fluid in his drops and his change-of-direction ability is excellent. He has good instincts to jump routes and he closes to the flat in a hurry. He is a very dynamic blitzer (see him flat-back an offensive guard in the Texas A&M game). In the run game, he is quick to key/read and shoot gaps. He does get uprooted at times because of his size, but he usually finds a way to beat blockers to spots. Overall, Queen is a high-tempo playmaker at the second level and should impact all three downs.”
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Made Himself Notable at LSU
The Falcons have a number of needs, but Queen could meet a couple of them. He can play both sides of the ball in high school, so that proves his athleticism and versatility.
Queen ended his collegiate career at LSU recording 131 tackles, 17.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks and an interception. He also earned a national title ring.
He made himself notable at LSU being named MVP winning against Clemson in the national title game. He recorded eight tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and a half-sack.
With a Pro Football coverage grade of 82.0, Queen ranks 12th amongst all off-ball linebackers.
Why Queen Fits on Falcons’ Defense
With De’Vondre Campbell gone, a starting linebacker leaves a gap in the roster. However, Dimitroff has shown great praise in backup Foye Oluokun. Oluokun does have the potential to replace Campbell as a starter, but he will need to prove himself in the offseason. Atlanta could still use the depth to secure the linebacker position, so why stop at Oluokun?
The Falcons’ defense ranked second to last at the end of last season, recording just 28 sacks combined. They’ll need to improve stopping the passing game if they want to win a Super Bowl this season.
Just 20 years old, Queen would be joining former LSU tiger Deion Jones who he could learn a thing or two from. Just like Jones, one of Queen’s strengths is reading a play and making a quick move. Having Queen, Jones, and Oluokon alongside each other could make the Falcons’ defense rank higher than ever before.