OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Lamar Jackson placed high expectations on Patrick Queen on Thursday night, when the reigning NFL MVP connected the Baltimore Ravens' first-round pick with one of the greatest middle linebackers to ever play.
After the Ravens used the No. 28 overall pick on Queen, Jackson shouted, "Ray Lewis Jr.!" on Instagram Live.
Lamar Jackson when hearing the Ravens' selection of middle linebacker Patrick Queen at No. 28:— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) April 24, 2020
"Ray Lewis Jr.!"
Like Lewis, Queen fell to Baltimore in the bottom of the first round. Lewis was the No. 26 overall pick in 1996.
And like Lewis, Queen dropped because of being undersized for the middle linebacker position.
Asked about the comparison to Lewis, Queen said Thursday night, "When you think about Ray Lewis, you think about an elite linebacker -- speed, physicality, aggression, dominance. I feel like I'm more mobile than he was. Not taking anything away from him, he was a great linebacker, probably the best to play. But I've got a lot to live up to. The bar is set high."
Lewis reached 13 Pro Bowls in 17 NFL seasons (1996 to 2012), winning two Super Bowls and two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.
Queen, 20, is only the third inside linebacker selected in the first round by the Ravens, joining Lewis and C.J. Mosley (2014). He was LSU's second-leading tackler last year, his first full season as a starter.
Known for his speed and being a sideline-to-sideline tackler, Queen was named Defensive MVP in the national championship game after recording eight tackles, including 2.5 for loss, and half a sack.
"I'm not really making comparisons, just looking at Patrick for who he is as a player. He really is legit," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said when asked about Queen and Lewis. "For us to come away with Patrick Queen is a big win."
Queen said he's motivated by the fact that two other inside linebackers -- Kenneth Murray at No. 23 and Jordyn Brooks at No. 27 -- were selected ahead of him. One of the reasons Queen likely fell is he weighed in at 229 pounds, which is 6 pounds lighter than what Lewis was entering the draft 24 years ago.
"I'm not going to lie to you, man: I'm so tired of hearing that," Queen said about the criticism for being undersized. "I heard it all the way through college. It didn't matter. I played perfectly fine. Coming into the league, I'm going to be strong, I'm going to be fast, and I'm going to be smart and just try to bring that mentality I had in college into the NFL and turn it up a lot more. I feel like I haven't even reached my full potential yet, so the sky is the limit."