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PFF Tabs Patrick Queen as Top-10 Linebacker in NFL

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Pittsburgh Steelers LB Patrick Queen

Patrick Queen had a banner year with Baltimore last season, recording 133 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, six quarterback hits, six passes defended, one interception and one forced fumble. Queen was named second-team All-Pro and earned his first Pro Bowl selection.

Queen cashed in with the Steelers this offseason, signing a three-year, $41 million deal. He currently is the fifth-highest paid linebacker in the NFL on a per-year basis with an average of $13.6 million.

Patrick Queen could have made up to $17 million per year, but he told Derrick Bell of Steelers Now in an exclusive interview that he took less to sign with the Steelers because he wants to win right now.

Queen, 24, is entering the prime of his career. This could be the year where the LSU product shows that he’s one of the league’s best linebackers. He’s now out of the shadows of Roquan Smith.

Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus thinks Queen is already a top-10 linebacker in the league, as he tabbed him at No. 7 in his recent linebacker rankings.

McGuinness is particularly impressed with Queen’s development and how he has reduced his negatively graded plays. In 2020, he earned a negative grade on 14.0% of his snaps, and he brought that number down each year, all the way to just 7.6% in 2023.

Patrick Queen told Bell that he wants to be a top-3 linebacker in the NFL. Queen could take that next step this year and join Smith in the upper echelon of linebackers. McGuinness ranked Smith as the second-best linebacker in the league, behind only Fred Warner of the San Francisco 49ers.

“For me, just solidifying myself as a top-three linebacker in the NFL,” Queen said in an interview on the Steelers DB YouTube Channel. “There’s some people saying top three, some people saying top 10, some people saying top seven — whatever it may be — so my job this year is just to solidify top three. No order. I don’t care as long as I solidify myself top three. That’s what my goal is. And what comes with is All-Pro, Pro Bowl, tackles, turnovers. I think turnovers is the biggest thing. Getting my hands on the ball, whether that’s forced fumbles, interceptions, whatever I got to do.”