By Derek Benson
Instincts: 6 Tackling: 5 Play Speed: 6 Pass Coverage: 5
Blitzing: 6 Motor: 5 Pursuit: 5 Special Teams Value: 6
(Explanation of grades can be found here.)
Games Watched: vs UCF 2018 (B) @Texas (A22) vs Utah St. (A22) vs Florida (B) vs Auburn (B) vs Okla (B)
Strengths: He shows solid play speed, moving quickly to get in position to make plays outside the hash. When given a clear path he takes solid angles aiming for the inside shoulder. His read and react ability in the run game is solid. Knows his gap in the run game. Shows his instincts and speed to get past 2nd level blocks. Shows good strength when he hits the ball carrier and limits the yards after contact. His ability to get downhill is just as potent as his lateral speed. He gets to the QB as a blitzer with speed and tenacity. Queen is athletic enough to be used on stunts and as a Qb spy. Shows solid ability in the passing game on the hook/curl areas in zone. Can sniff out screens to the running back. Does a good job filling a vacated zone when his teammate blitzes. On obvious passing downs, gets good depth on crossing routes or other routes that attack the middle of the field.
Weaknesses: His pursuit to the ball will need to get better, sometimes goes around the 2nd level block when there is an available window underneath for a better angle, avoiding contact altogether. Has struggled shedding blocks due to letting the OL get their hands on him first. He’ll play stagnant at times, allowing the blocker to get to him. He may have limitations covering tight ends and slot receivers, which would hinder his usage on passing downs. He will need to disguise his blitzes better when it comes to timing his movement at the snap. Bites on play action and QB options and reacts late at times. Would like to see more hustle on backside pursuits. There were a couple of plays where he misjudged the speed of the running back by taking a flat angle to the ball. Struggled tackling larger RBs.
What we need to learn about him: How will he fair when it comes to shedding blocks against NFL competition? He’s taken advantage of 2nd level blocks that didn’t take the right path to him. His man coverage ability against tight ends and receivers is unknown as he was hardly put in that situation at LSU. Can he cover option, flat, angle and wheel routes against quicker running backs?
Scheme: In LSU’s 3-3-5 defense, Queen lined up as a weak side and middle linebacker in his first year as a starter. On obvious passing situations, he lined up somewhere between the tackles either to rush or spy the quarterback or drop back in zone coverage. He was responsible for the running back on passing downs in man coverage. He lined up on the weak side of the formation a majority of the time when there was a tight end on the field. Saw the field on special teams contributing on punts, punt returns and kickoffs.
Injury History: 2020-tweaked hamstring on the second attempt at 40-yard dash.
Summary: Queen has the athleticism to contribute on special teams and obvious passing down situations, but he will need to improve his block shedding ability, pursuit, and his aggressiveness to see the field on all 3 downs. He may need to go to a team that relies on their linebackers to play in zone coverage on passing situations due to the unknown ability to cover tight ends and slot receivers in man coverage.