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Revisiting the Jordyn Brooks and Patrick Queen draft debate

Two first-round linebackers, drafted one pick apart, head into an epic defensive face-off.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Seattle Seahawks take on the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, let’s revisit a four-year old debate.

In 2020, GM John Schneider selected Jordyn Brooks with the 27th overall pick. The Baltimore Ravens took Patrick Queen one pick later, to the surprise of quite a few analysts as to the luck of the Ravens.

However, as the results have unfolded, each linebacker took their turn outperforming the other. Furthermore, Brady Henderson reported that teams were higher on Brooks than the 2nd-round projections from draft pundits.

Something interesting has happened this season. With the pairings of elite linebackers in their own rights - Bobby Wagner and Roquan Smith - both Brooks and Queen are back to form in a big way.

The 2023 stats are uncanny. It’s been a near mirror half-season, with two glaring exceptions.

Brooks: 3.5 sacks, 67 total tackles, 6 Tackles for Loss, 4 QB hits, 1 forced fumble and fumble recovered.
Queen: 3.5 sacks, 69 total tackles, 6 Tackles for Loss, 5 QB hits, no fumble activity.

The fumbles stand out as a nod in Brooks favor, but here’s the other - Seattle’s already had the bye and Brooks has played one fewer game. His per-game average on things like tackles is quite a bit higher.

Brooks has been so good that he’s made it easy to forget that he came back from a torn ACL far earlier than typical. Not only did he return to the field ahead of schedule but is playing better than even last season.

The top two defenses since Week 4 will be in for the best battle of the week, anchored by four stud linebackers across the board. As it stands, I’d rather have Brooks.

Which by the way, the Seahawks only do for the remainder of this season. They declined his fifth-year option and must figure out if they are able to retain the young linebacker into the future.