The Times examines the best prospects ahead of the NFL draft from April 23-25.
When Devin White left Louisiana to be drafted No. 5 overall by the Green Bay Packers in the past season, Patrick Queen thought it was time to shine as the Tigers’ linebacker.
He had dreamed of this opportunity for many years, having grown up in the small town of Ventress, Louisiana, just on the banks of the Mississippi in Baton Rouge.
But, to start the 2019 season, LSU coach Ed Orgeron told the junior queen that he should wait a little longer.
“On entering the camp, we were fighting for a place. I didn’t win it, ”said Queen.
Queen, traditionally small for average support at 6 feet 1 and 227 pounds, was told that he needed to improve to stop the race and read the tusks. He tied himself to the hip of defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. After three limited duty games to start the year, he got his first start against Vanderbilt.
The rest of the story – how he started the last 12 games, becoming a vital part of the LSU team which went 15-0 and won the national championship and announced its intention to enter the draft NFL – is a testament to how quickly a star player can rise when talent meets opportunity.
Queen is now a first-round pick just a few months after watching teammates win a big road game in Texas from the touchline.
“It was difficult, but I never changed anything,” said Queen. “I was always the guy who gave 110% before it happened. So I kept everything the same, I entered, I lowered my head and I went to work. “
In the LSU’s last three games against Powers Georgia, Oklahoma and Clemson, Queen has combined 21 tackles, including five for defeat.
His speed and quick recognition were fully visible. Still, he wanted to show more to the NFL screening combine, hoping to run a 4.4 by 40 meter dash, which he said had been successful in training. He clocked a time of 4.5 on the combine – a number that did not impress him but only confirmed his darts to the teams.
The only risk to Queen on the approach to the repechage is that it only started for one season.
“It’s a difficult question to answer because everyone likes the experience, but I feel like I’ve proven everything I need on the field,” said Queen. “Even if I didn’t start at the beginning of the year, my film takes care of everything they have questions for.”
Certainly Queen has an analyst Lance Zierlein from NFL.com convinced.
“While other Tigers have received more attention, Queen has some of the group’s most revealing bands,” wrote Zierlein. “He plays fast, physically and with impressive confidence on the field for a starter for a year. Its ability to diagnose and circulate is both very fast, and it works with excellent body control and excellent balance to engulf runners as tacklers in the open field. “