Potential first-round Eagles NFL Draft targets that aren’t DBs or WRs
By AJ Iezzi
If there’s anyone on this list that would be a sure thing as an Eagle, it’s probably Patrick Queen. The Eagles have had quiet linebacker production since Nigel Bradham’s 2017 season, and finding playmakers for the second level of the defense could make the Eagles a serious contender in 2020.
The vast majority of the Eagles’ defensive problems last year were the lack of consistent pressure and the secondary’s inability to take away quick reads. They had a symbiotic relationship. Better production from the linebackers would limit the total reliance on the front-four and secondary.
If Philly were to select Queen, he’d be the best linebacker on the team before he even chose a jersey number.
In 2019, he was a backup for the first three games of the season, but he blossomed into an outstanding starter, getting better as the year went on. As a junior, he racked up 85 tackles (12 resulted in a loss of yardage), and he snagged an interception. Two things that stand out on his tape are his athletic ability and his intelligence.
Queen ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash at February’s NFL Scouting Combine. The speed is evident when you watch him drop into coverage and chase down ball carriers. He’s quick to diagnose plays and launch himself downfield, and he’s an exceptional tackler.
There are questions about his size, however. At 229 pounds, he may need to add strength to avoid getting washed away by NFL linemen, and with the game film being an ultimate scouting resource, the fact that Queen only started for one season may make teams hesitant to take him early in the first round.
Still, linebacker is a major need for the Eagles on the defensive side of the ball, and Queen’s nose for the ball would be a huge addition for a defense that is lacking playmakers at the second level.