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Prospect Profile: LSU DE Arden Key

Arden Key

Defensive end | LSU | Junior

Height: 6-foot-6 | Weight: 238 pounds

College Stats

2017: Started eight of eight games played; 33 tackles (15 solo); 5.5 tackles for loss; 4.0 sacks; one forced fumble; missed four regular-season games due to injury; named First-Team All-SEC by Associated Press

Career: Started 28 of 31 games played; 130 tackles (59 solo); 26.5 tackles for loss; 21 sacks; four passes broken up; four forced fumbles; his 12 sacks in 2016 set LSU single-season record; two-time First-Team All-SEC selection by Associated Press; 2015 Freshman All-America by ESPN.com and SEC All-Freshman Team by coaches

Combine Results

40-yard dash: did not participate
Bench press: did not participate
Broad jump: 9 feet, 9 inches
Vertical jump: 31 inches
3-cone drill: 7.16 seconds (10th among defensive linemen/edge rushers)
20-yard shuttle: 4.25 seconds (fourth among defensive linemen/edge rushers)

Profile

Summary:Key was highly touted as a defensive end at Hapeville Charter Career Academy in Union City, Georgia, where he recorded 15.5 sacks during his senior season, and he went on to produce as a linebacker/edge rusher for LSU.

Key started nine of 12 games played as a freshman before becoming a full-time starter for the Tigers and earning back-to-back First-Team All-SEC honors as a sophomore and junior.

According to his NFL.com Draft profile, Key "plays slippery and is hard to keep centered" and has an "unorthodox movement" that presents a challenge for blockers. He is described as having skills "as a two-way rusher both inside and outside" and has length that "could be scary" when he learns to utilize its full benefits on the field.

NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein had some concerns about the 2017 season, during which Key missed time due to injuries.

"Key's length and ability to slither around blockers to threaten the pocket has never been in question, but this season he lacked the necessary suddenness and conditioning to project as an effective pro."

Zierlein maintained a first- or second-round projection for Key, however, and said he "has the potential to become a productive edge rusher as a starting 3-4 outside linebacker or as a designated pass rusher in even fronts."  

View images of LSU Defensive End Arden Key.

Stacking up: NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks tabbed Key as the fifth-best edge rusher in this year's draft class. Fellow analyst Mike Mayock initially opined Key as the No. 3 edge rusher but bumped him to a tie for No. 5 (with Ohio State's Sam Hubbard) following the combine. Daniel Jeremiah originally listed Key at No. 33 on his list of Top 50 prospects, but following the combine he slid Key out of the top 50.

Versatility is Key:While Key primarily played in a 3-4 system at LSU, the Atlanta native isn't hesitant about his ability to play well as a defensive end in 4-3. He told media members at the combine that he will "fit right in" if drafted by a team with a 4-3 base.

"You watch tape, most of my pass rushes are out of a three-point stance. I like to rush out of a three-point stance," Key said. "I can drop because I can. I can do it, but I don't want to. I'm a pass rusher. I want to rush the quarterback."

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