Arden Key Is A Boom Or Bust Pass Rushing Option In The 2018 NFL Draft

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A Look At 2018 Draft Prospect Arden Key As A Potential Selection By The Detroit Lions


What Arden Key Needs To Work On In The Pros

Arden Key is one of the more interesting EDGE prospects in this class. He has a rare blend of length (6’6″)  and speed. However, there are reported concerns about his personal discipline and off-the-field issues. As we have seen over the years in the NFL, such issues can derail even the best players. The best ability in the league is reliability. Whichever team takes Key needs to feel comfortable these issues are behind him and will not be a problem going forward.

In terms of technique, Key has quite a bit to clean up. He shows no real plan of attack when pass rushing. His hand fighting and usage is quite wild. Relies heavily on slap and rip to get by offensive lineman. However, he had no real counter when these stalled in college at LSU. Like many of the other day two prospects at his position, he has poor pad level. This has led to strength concerns. Too often he got immediately turned away and sealed off against the run. To compound with this, he also takes consistently poor angles.

Why Key Will Still Be Selected On Day Two

Arden Key’s length and athletic ability stand out in this class. He has really good play recognition. Quick to diagnose and attack. He uses his length well to extend to create separation, though he does need to shed blocks more quickly. He bends very well around the edge coming out of a two-point stance. His gap discipline is one of his best traits. Therefore, if he can get his pad level down and hand usage under shoulder pads, he could be a force against the run.

Moves well on coverage for a man of his size. Upper end burst shows up big in space. When he is able to set a target and attack straight on, he can fly across the field. If a team is comfortable with the off-field issues staying in the past, Key could be a steal for a team on day two. His flaws are mostly coachable, but you cannot teach his length and athleticism.

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