Eagles Draft Target – Patrick Queen

This junior linebacker with elite speed has declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. How does Patrick Queen fit with the Philadelphia Eagles? Let’s take a look. Before we get started, here are some links to our previous Eagles draft targets.

It feels like the linebacker position for the Philadelphia Eagles has been neglected for years. The last time the Eagles drafted a linebacker, it was Joe Walker in the 2016 7th round. Think about that for a few seconds. With 10 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft and a clear need to upgrade, is this finally the year that the Eagles select a linebacker with one of their top picks?

A Look at Patrick Queen’s College Performance at LSU

Patrick Queen was a 4-star recruit out of Louisiana in 2017. In fact, Patrick Queen was a running back in High School and ran for nearly 3,300 yards during his junior and senior season. Queen was an early commit to LSU in January 2017 and received offers from Colorado State, Indiana and Louisiana Tech. After playing sparingly his freshman year, Patrick Queen turned some heads when he started LSU’s final five games in 2018.

In his first start vs Alabama in 2018, he registered 9 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. Patrick Queen had 18 tackles in LSU’s final 3 games his sophomore season. He replaced 2019 first round pick (5th overall, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) Devin White and never looked back. Patrick Queen started 11 games during his senior season but was utilizes primarily as LSU’s pass rusher in blitz packages early on.

A game changer on defense from the jump…

After week 4 vs Vanderbilt, Queen got his first start at inside linebacker and started the rest of the year. He finished 3rd on the team with 85 tackles. Queen solidified himself as a defensive playmaker, totaling 12 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and an interception in 2019. Patrick Queen saved his best for his last, totaling 8 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a half a sack vs Clemson in the 2019 National Championship.

For his efforts in the National Championship, he was named Defensive MVP. Patrick Queen showed off his playmaking ability during his last four games at LSU. In those games he totaled seven tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Queen declared for the 2020 NFL Draft on January 15th and will be attending the 2020 NFL Draft Combine. At this point in time, Patrick Queen is widely considered a second day selection in this year’s draft.

Patrick Queen’s Current Draft Projection

  • 30th – The Athletic
  • Not listed in the first round via Sports Illustrated, Sporting News or CBS Sports
  • 19th – NFL.com
  • 28th – ESPN/Mel Kiper

A Look at the Philadelphia Eagles Linebacker Position

There are some major questions at the linebacker position for the Birds heading into next season. A date to keep an eye out is March 17th. The Philadelphia Eagles have until then to make a decision on whether or not to exercise Nigel Bradham’s 2020 option. If Howie decides to move on, that is an easy 8 million added to the Eagles salary cap to be utilized in other areas. Nigel Bradham has been hit or miss over the last two years. Personally, I think it’s time for the Eagles to move on from Nigel Bradham.

Kamu Grugier-Hill fought injuries all season long in 2019 and is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Nate Gerry finished last season second in tackles on the team. Given the amount of money he makes, I expect him to return. TJ Edwards had a solid rookie season in 2019, finishing with 21 tackles and 9 tackles on special teams. Edwards will return in 2020 on a very team friendly contract.

The linebacker position has been dreadful since the year the Eagles won the Super Bowl.

When you look back at 2017, the Eagles featured Nigel Bradham, Jordan Hicks and Mychal Kendricks. Nigel Bradham has taken three steps backwards since that Super Bowl run and quite simply, the talent at the position is not good enough. Howie Roseman made it clear that the Eagles need to get faster and younger across the board. Could that include the linebacker position in the 2020 NFL Draft? It absolutely should be.

What would Patrick Queen bring to the Eagles?

Patrick Queen has all the makings of a high riser once the NFL Draft Combine begins on February 23rd. This is a fast, athletic linebacker that thrives in coverage and is an eye opener in tape. Patrick Queen was one of 16 players from LSU to get invited to the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. Of the 337 college players to receive an invite, LSU makes up for 4.7% of those prospects. No other college had more invites. Simply incredible.

How does Patrick Queen fit Jim Schwartz’s defense? Patrick Queen projects as an inside linebacker and plays with high intelligence and most importantly, speed. He utilizes his quickness to fill gaps and is considered one of the best cover linebackers in the draft. Queen would bring an element the Eagles linebacking corps has sorely lacked recently, which is making plays in coverage. Patrick Queen has one of the highest ceilings in this year’s draft, which is shown by his elite quickness to not only get into the backfield but make plays down field.

The Philadelphia Eagles love versatility and this is a prospect that can play all over the field due to his speed and knack for always being around the ball. While he only had 3 sacks his junior season at LSU, Patrick Queen is very good at putting pressure on the quarterback. He has all the ability to play downfield, plug holes and rush the passer. I understand Jim Schwartz prefers to limit his pass rush to his front four, but Queen would certainly add some fire power to the front seven.

Some Areas Patrick Queen Needs to Strengthen

Tackling: Despite having excellent speed and quickness, Patrick Queen could use some coaching in his technique. This is a guy that flies around the ball but sometimes struggles to make the open field tackle. Patrick Queen could use some time in the weight room to gain strength and make the bigger push at the point of attack.

Inexperience: Patrick Queen doesn’t have the most experience and this shows by his inability to shed blocks and consistently take the best angle. There were times in man coverage where he would lose his man but get by due to his immense effort. This simply won’t be good enough in the NFL. Patrick Queen is the type of raw prospect where it might require a year or two of coaching before his star potential is fully unlocked.

My Expectations for 2020

The Birds need a game changer on defense. With so many question marks at linebacker moving forward, the Eagles need a guy that can fill gaps and make plays in the backfield. Listen, the Eagles have a lot of holes on defense. I get that Jim Schwartz likely values cornerback higher than linebacker at this point in time, but Patrick Queen would be a very solid selection in round two or three for the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Birds need home run draft pick in that second and third round. Speaking on strictly athleticism and speed, Patrick Queen checks all the boxes. When I look at 2020, a linebacker that can make an impact on 3rd down, make the big play in the backfield or not get outmuscled by tight ends in coverage would be a huge addition to the Eagles. With 2 third round picks and 3 fourth round picks, Patrick Queen should be on every Eagles fans draft board this April.