I went on record earlier stating that the eagles should consider taking a linebacker in the first round to sure up their their linebacker core. With recent news coming out that the Eagles have released their best linebacker in Nigel Bradham, they are now pretty razor thin in that area and I think they are in desperate need with their starting linebackers being Nate Gerry, a converted safety, although having a very solid year in 2019, still very new to the position and lacking the weight to be a mike. And lining up beside him at this moment is T.J Edwards who will be entering his second year in 2020, still getting his feet wet and learning what this league is about. It’s safe to say after the Bradham release the Eagles will certainly address their linebacker situation at some point during this offseason, but it remains to be seen exactly when they will.
A late day 1 target that the Eagles could have their eye on is Patrick Queen out of LSU. Patrick Queen’s draft stock really picked up steam after the national championship against Clemson where he recorded 8 total tackles and half a sack, the numbers don’t jump out but he seemed to be in good position the entire night and that had teams impressed. Patrick Queen is another one of those modern day linebackers in this class, alongside Simmons and Murray, that teams are looking for. Queen is a great athlete that can get sideline to sideline very well to chase down these scat backs and quarterbacks who break the pocket. Queens athleticism and ability to stop on a dime is what intrigues scouts and teams because teams look for that sideline to sideline backer who can run down these next generation quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson, Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, among others. Dropping in coverage is another element in Queen’s game that he can do and do it well, he’s moves very fluid in space to be able to keep up with backs coming out of the backfield and shows overall good instincts in zone.
Patrick Queen does have some noticeable weaknesses though, such as tackling! I noticed a handful of missed tackles due to bad angles and not wrapping up properly. While Queen’s overall instincts are good, that’s just what it is, good. He reacts and diagnosis plays good but lacks the elite instincts to diagnose the play and react before it happens, which could come in time as he develops more, given he’s only started 1 real season at LSU. Also noticed that Queen does lack the ideal size for a prototypical mike linebacker only weighing 227 pounds, I noticed he got a bit bullied in the interior of the line shedding blocks from bigger linemen, which could force him to the sam or will position in a 4-3 at the next level, which is the scheme I feel he belongs in. Queen’s motor is another thing I noticed, while he has a good overall motor, I noticed he will go down a gear mid-play instead of finishing until he hears the whistle, might be classified as nit-picking but if I’m a GM i want my guys playing to the whistle on every play.
Patrick Queen’s stock has risen since the national championship and I think with his athleticism and overall natural abilities, it will rise more after the combine. Me personally, I’m am not that high on Patrick Queen because of the limited instincts he shows right now and his troubles with wrapping up and securing tackles, but no doubt can be made about his athletic ability and speed and teams will lock on to that as quarterbacks and running backs get quicker and more elusive. Given Queen’s current stock and my expectation that it will rise a bit more after the combine, there’s a real chance he could go in the first round and if Simmons and Murray are both gone by pick 21, the Eagles will have to either take him at 21 or trade back a few slots and hope he’s still there at the end of the round. With the Eagles being starved for linebackers at the moment I think Queen is on the Eagles radar and should at least warrant a look from them at pick 21 come April.