John Harbaugh lays out plan for Ravens rookie linebackers Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison
Both are going to have a chance to start right away
The Baltimore Ravens were one of the best teams in the NFL last season. While they went 14-2 in the regular season before getting bounced by the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round, Lamar Jackson won the NFL MVP award and led the No. 1 offense in the league during his first full season as a starter. This team is clearly moving in the right direction, and they only improved during the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Ravens did pick up a few intriguing offensive weapons such as running back J.K. Dobbins and wide receiver Devin Duvernay, but they scored one of the biggest steals of the first round by taking linebacker Patrick Queen with the No. 28 overall pick. The star inside linebacker of the undefeated LSU Tigers racked up 85 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, three sacks and one interception during his junior season, and appears to be a sideline-to-sideline player that will be able to make an immediate impact at the next level.
During a recent virtual press conference with reporters, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh spoke about what kind of roles Queen would be playing on his defense, and also spoke on third-round pick and fellow linebacker Malik Harrison — who he also expects to be a starter. According to Harbaugh, Queen will likely play at MIKE (inside) linebacker and will indeed be a three-down player. Harrison on the other hand could start on the weak-side, and will also get some reps at MIKE linebacker.
"We expect them to play a lot of football this year," Harbaugh said, via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.
The Ravens had a top five defense in the NFL last season, but their linebackers weren't one of their strongest positions. With Queen and Harrison likely starting during their rookie campaigns, this defense has the potential to go from good to great — as does the team as a whole. The Ravens now know what it's like to be the best team in the league yet not capitalize in the postseason, and they are focused on making 2020 the year Jackson and Co. win more than just the AFC North.