NFL Draft news: Ravens select Patrick Queen with 28th overall pick
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Ravens select Patrick Queen with 28th overall pick in 2020 NFL Draft

Patrick Queen, Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens selected LSU linebacker Patrick Queen with the 28th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Ravens lost two starting linebackers from their loaded 2019 defense, Josh Bynes and Patrick Onwuasor. They felt, reasonably enough, that they needed reinforcements at middle linebacker. Queen is the third middle linebacker the Ravens have drafted in the first round, joining Ray Lewis and CJ Mosley. Those draft picks turned out pretty well, to put it mildly. Patrick Queen could be the answer they need.

The Ravens’ 2019 defense produced four Pro Bowlers. Linebacker Matthew Judon was one, but the other three were in the secondary: Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, and Earl Thomas. Baltimore clearly felt it needed to improve the middle layer of its defense after getting pass-rush help with the acquisition of Calais Campbell from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

This pick by the Ravens clearly meets a need. The big discussion point in Baltimore on Friday morning and throughout the offseason will be if this was the foremost need the Ravens had to address.

It’s a perfectly reasonable argument to say that the Ravens had to bolster their run defense. The San Francisco 49ers tested that run defense in a hyped late-season matchup last autumn. The Niners and Ravens were the No. 1 seeds in their respective conferences, so it makes natural sense for Baltimore to measure itself against San Francisco.

Where this move for Patrick Queen can be criticized, however, is that wide receiver could be cited as a more urgent need than middle linebacker. Lamar Jackson has a solid offensive line and a proven run game. However, they could certainly use a dynamic wide receiver to stretch the field and increase the potency of their passing game.

It is impossible to ignore the reality that when the Tennessee Titans gained a substantial lead last January in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game in Baltimore, the Ravens’ passing game was not fully equipped to mount a comeback.

This, Ravens fans will admit, is precisely how the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. They had the ability to erase double-digit deficits with Patrick Mahomes throwing to multiple game-changing pass-catchers. Patrick Queen can’t help in that regard.