Patrick Queen Reacts to Ravens Drafting ‘Versatile’ Linebacker

Ravens ILB Patrick Queen

Getty Ravens ILB Patrick Queen tweeted a reaction to the team drafting a highly rated player at his position.

Day two of the 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books and it featured numerous trades and several surprises. The Baltimore Ravens didn’t have a pick in the second round so they had to wait until around 10:30 p.m. Eastern to make their first and only pick of the day and used it to select standout Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson at No. 86 overall.

While the selection came as a bit of a surprise to many given the team’s strength at the position already and their other more glaring needs, it was a no-brainer for them to make because they believe he was “clearly the best player available” when they were on the clock.

“Clearly for us at that time he was the best available player,” general manager Eric DeCosta said.

One member of the organization that was caught off guard and clearly taken aback by the pick was inside linebacker Patrick Queen. The first-rounder who the team selected No.28 overall out of LSU in 2020 took to Twitter to share his reaction with a single word “Sheesh”.

This comes just one day after DeCosta declined to comment on the impending decision of whether the team will choose to exercise the fifth-year option on his contract.

“As far as Patrick goes, [I’m] not going to address that right now,” he said during Thursday night’s post-draft press conference. “I probably will maybe later this week. As the Draft ends, we’ll talk about that, but I’m not going to talk about that right now.”

The Ravens’ head front office executive told reporters for the second night in a row that they will wait to announce any news pertaining to Queen’s contract until after the draft but that won’t quell the speculation that the fourth-year pro’s future with the team moving forward is in doubt.

DeCosta Thinks Queen is a Pro Bowler ‘In the Making’

The Ravens were perfectly fine with not having a pick in the second round because that was the capital they traded to the Chicago Bears at the 2022 midseason deadline in exchange for inside linebacker Roquan Smith. He went on to earn his first career First-Team All-Pro recognition and had a transformative impact on the entire defense during the second half of the season.

He and Queen formed arguably the best inside linebacker tandem in the league over that span. Queen took major strides in his development last season and by the end of the year was playing the best ball of his career.

“We love Patrick. I love Patrick,” DeCosta said. “Patrick is, in my mind, one of the better WILL linebackers in the league. He’s smart. He works his butt off. I think he’s a Pro Bowl linebacker in the making.”

He finished the 2022 season with a team-leading 117 total tackles and including nine for a loss; career-highs in sacks (five), pass breakups (six), interceptions (two), and quarterback hits (14); a forced fumble and a pair of fumble recoveries according to Pro Football Reference.

Simpson is one of the most freakishly athletic prospects in this entire class regardless of position. He possesses great size at 6’2″ and 235 pounds and ran a blazing 4.43 in the 40-yard dash which is just a tick slower than first-round wide receiver Zay Flowers who ran a 4.42 at 5’9″ and 182 pounds. Even though they likely didn’t come into the day looking to add to a position of strength, the value was too good to pass up.

“In Trenton, we get a guy that was, honestly, the very best player available at the time,” DeCosta said. “That’s our philosophy. That’s how we build our team.”

Simpson admires the game of Smith and Queen and is excited to add his talents to the position group and learn from them both.

“I watch those guys’ highlights. I just love the way they play,” he said. “They play like me. They play fast, physical football, and [they’re] hitting anything that’s moving and that’s my mindset.”

Ravens Praise Simpson For Having ‘Versatile’ Skillset

The former Tiger was one of the highest-rated linebacker prospects according to many draft experts and was ESPN’s Mel Kiper’s top available prospect regardless of position at the time he was picked.

In the eyes of analysts, the Ravens, and Simpson himself, his best and most alluring traits are his impressive speed, explosiveness, and most importantly his versatility.

“I can fit in any scheme,” Simpson said. “I’m the most versatile linebacker in this draft and I’m forever going to believe that.”

His new head coach concurred and further elaborated on the multitude of skills that he brings to the table and the ways he can be deployed.

“I think he’s versatile. He’s a run-and-hit linebacker,” head coach John Harbaugh in the post-draft press conference. “He can play really across the board. He can play from the slot, all the way back across to the WILL and he can play on the edge of the line.”

He went on to gush over Simpson’s straight-line speed that he uses to cover a lot of ground in a hurry and incisions him contributing to the pass rush as a blitzer as well as on special teams covering and blocking for the kick and punt units.

“He’s a missile. To add that kind of mindset to our defense and special teams is a big plus,” Harbaugh said.

In college, Simpson lined up everywhere from slot corner to safety, off-ball linebacker, and edge defender and made plays all over the field. He finished his collegiate career with 165 total tackles including 23 for a loss, 13 sacks, five pass breakups, and three forced fumbles according to Sports Reference.

He joins a young, fast, and physical Ravens defense that features several players at all three levels with versatile skill sets. They have veteran outside linebacker Tyus Bowser in the front seven who can rush and cover and 2022 first-round defensive back Kyle Hamilton in the secondary coming off a tremendous rookie season in which he finished as the highest-graded safety in the league according to Pro Football Focus.

The Ravens view him as yet another dynamic defender at defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s disposal that never has to come off the field and has a high ceiling as an impactful player.

“We see him as a four-down linebacker, eventually, with tremendous potential and upside,” DeCosta said.

When asked where he thinks Simpson will lineup, Harbaugh told reporters that he’ll start out as “an inside linebacker that probably could go out to the edge” and play some outside linebacker. The Ravens need some more depth at edge defender with 2022 sack leader, Justin Houston, still on the open market as an unrestricted free agent.