With just ten days until the 2020 NFL Draft, a projected f22irst-round pick, Patrick Queen, has met with three teams. CBS Sports reported that Queen has met with the Packers, Ravens, and Eagles; out of these three teams, the Eagles have the earliest draft pick with the 21st. Could this mean that the Eagles are front runners in the race to grab the second best LB in the 2020 Draft class?
The Eagles’ linebackers currently consist of T.J. Edwards, Duke Riley, Nathan Gerry, and newly added Jatavis Brown. None of these backers will blow you away with speed or power, but they are fundamentally sound and do what they need to do. On the other hand, Patrick Queen can take over games with his vast majority of defensive skills and intangibles. He would complement this average LB group because his skill set is so different. Queen is the new definition of an NFL inside-linebacker, and he would fit in perfectly on the Eagles. Many draft analysts and scouts have compared him to Falcons’ LB Deion Jones, who had also played at LSU.
During the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl run, their LB group of Bradham, Hicks, and Kendricks was tremendously underrated. This core group of youth and explosiveness made plays that seemed were out of their pay grade. Howie Roseman has since ridden the team of these three playmakers on the defensive side of the football. He has also alluded to the fact that the Eagles have to get, “younger and faster across the board”, and what better way to accomplish this then drafting a 20 year-old National Champion who can play from sideline to sideline? Queen’s stock has been rising by the week, and the once “late 1st-round” projection may be gone before we think.
How Does He fit?
So how does Queen fit Schwartz’s defensive style? Queen is an inside linebacker at the core and plays with high levels of intelligence, power, and speed. He explodes to the ball and fills gaps with tremendous power, which allows him to arrive at the ball carrier early and under control. The run defensive abilities propelled him into the conversation of being a 1st round draft pick. However, his pass coverage ability is what has boosted his stock, and NFL coaches and scouts understand how important pass coverage from linebackers is in today’s NFL.
Queen has the rare ability to pass defend against any skill position on the field. He can track running backs in the flat, run with tight ends down the seam, and most impressively cover speedy slot receivers in the open field. Queen proved this during his short college career playing in the SEC, the conference with the highest graded skill players in the 2020 draft class. Queen’s ceiling is among the highest in his class, and he is a generational talent that would have an immediate impact on the Eagles roster.
But We Need Receivers!
Queen is a versatile student of the game and would bring a unique ability to an average at best Eagles’ linebacker position. The most significant question mark for the Eagles coming into the 2020 off-season was the secondary, but the Birds have taken care of that during free agency while trading for Darius Slay. Many believe that the Eagles need to get Carson Wentz some weapons, and I could not agree more. However, this WR class is so deep that there will be receivers available in the second, third, and fourth rounds that would usually be gone by mid-second round in other year’s drafts. It’s vital that Howie Roseman and the Eagles staff draft for the best players available, and if Patrick Queen is there at the 21st pick, he would indeed be the best available.
From there, the Eagles have five total picks over the next three rounds. They could shift their focus on the WR position and use two or three of these picks on receivers. Some names that will be around for the Eagles: Aiyuk, Van Jefferson, Edwards, Claypool, Gandy-Golden, Duvernay, Pittman, Hill, and Jauan Jennings (all first or second-round talent in previous year’s drafts). Then mix in a young interior offensive lineman that could sit a year or two behind Brooks, Kelce, and Seumalo. All of a sudden, the Eagles would have a long term starting ILB, raw talent WRs, and an IOL. By the end of round four, the Eagles would fulfill their draft needs.
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