DE Arden Key, Louisiana St.*

6’5″ – 238 lbs. – 4.70e

Started nine games at defensive end as a freshman, then enjoyed a highly-productive sophomore campaign the following year. Was limited to eight games this past season due to injury before declaring. Tall, long-limbed edge rusher who takes snaps on both sides of the defense and often rushes out of a two-point stance. Has added over thirty pounds of bulk since his freshman season; was playing at close to 270 pounds this past season, over thirty pounds more than in his more successful sophomore campaign. Covers a lot of ground with his first step and is able to sink his hips and use his suddenness to generate pressure on the quarterback. Best when he’s dipping his shoulder or using rip moves around the edge. Pretty fluid athlete who can smoothly bend back to the passer and finish his rushes. However, is more gifted than polished at this point. Has some ability to convert speed to power but rarely gives opposing linemen much trouble with his bull rush. Doesn’t have many effective counters at this point; gets stuck on blocks if his initial move is unsuccessful. Has some experience dropping into short zones in coverage and carrying opposing running backs out of the backfield and into the flats. Suddenness out of his stance allowed him to blow some rushing attempts up in the backfield when using inside moves. Willing to get pretty physical at the point of attack in the run game. Has the length to extend his arms and lack out opponents. Has the lower-body strength and discipline to set an edge. Patient in backside pursuit. Length gives him an impressive tackling radius. However, can be a little bit of a pile-inspector who delegates to teammates in the area. Doesn’t give the same effort in backside pursuit that he does when rushing the passer. Can get preoccupied with blockers and struggle to shed at the appropriate time. Durability may be a question after undergoing surgery on his shoulder and pinky this past season and missing time with a knee injury. Took time off from football this past February. Comes with questions about his motor, consistency, polish, and durability, but has a desirable combination of size, length, and movement skills which could allow him to develop into a primary pass-rusher with further development; furthermore, put together a dominant sophomore campaign in college football’s premier conference, which should assuage some concerns. Boom-or-bust prospect who may slip into the second day.

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