Another potential first-round prospect has met with the Green Bay Packers with less than two weeks to go until the 2020 NFL draft.
According to The Draft Network’s Jordan Reid, the Packers are one of several teams who have met with LSU’s Patrick Queen, who is considered one of the top linebackers in the upcoming class and could be a candidate for their first pick at No. 30 overall. He also met with the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens with another meeting on the books with the New York Giants.
Queen joins a diverse list of other first-round hopefuls who have reportedly held virtual pre-draft meetings with the Packers, including Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims, Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones and quarterback Jordan Love. The Packers also reportedly met with Utah defensive lineman Leki Fotu, who is projected to go in the third or fourth round.
General manager Brian Gutekunst reinforced earlier this offseason his philosophy of drafting the best player available when on the clock, and Queen could be just that if still available when the Packers are on the clock late in the fifth round. While a deep receiver class takes some emphasis off landing a pass-catcher in the first round, the linebacker group gets pretty thin after the top four — a list that includes likely top-10 pick Isaiah Simmons, Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray and Wisconsin’s Zack Baun.
The Packers signed free-agent inside linebacker Christian Kirksey to accommodate the losses of Blake Martinez and B.J. Goodson and still have one or two developmental pieces in place to add some depth behind him, but landing an impact rookie linebacker could elevate their unit right away while also laying the foundation for future seasons.
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Patrick Queen Draws Comparisons to Kwon Alexander
Queen is considered an every-down linebacker capable of making an impact during his first season in the league, drawing comparisons to Deion Jones and Kwon Alexander. But he also comes with some concerns as far as his experience is concerned.
Per an analysis from The Draft Network’s Joe Marino, one of the downsides to Queen is that he only started 16 games in three seasons at LSU. He points to how Queen “oddly” wasn’t able to beat out Michael Divinity for a starting role early in the 2019 season. Though, Queen still shined in big moments down the stretch for the eventual national champions and finished with career-best numbers, including 85 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and an interception.
Queen would also bring some things to the Packers defense that were missing with their former starter with his impressive sideline-to-sideline speed and natural instincts to make plays all over the field. He has also been adept at coverage and recognizes where he needs to make strides.
“For me being able to stop the run,” Queen told Forbes when asked where he needs to improve most. “I felt like that’s something I needed to improve on coming into this year and I felt like I improved on it. I still need to improve on it. I feel like people … take it into consideration that I’m not a run stopper and I feel like I am.”