Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
Who is the 6-foot-6 265 pound Arden Key?
Arden Key made a name for himself on his very first collegiate snap, introducing himself to the LSU Tiger fans. In the Tiger’s season opener against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, the heralded true-freshman sacked the starting current Dallas Cowboy’s quarterback, Dak Prescott. He led a very promising and successful freshman season, however, he truly flourishes in his sophomore year. He established 12 sacks which include the two, (one for a safety) on Lamar Jackson, the 2015 Heisman Trophy Winner. The Tiger’s went on to defeat the Louisville Cardinals in the Citrus Bowl, with a 29-9 victory. His production on the field that season earned him second-team All-SEC honors from his 12 sacks, 56 tackles (14 ½ tackles for loss), and adding three forced fumbles to his success. He left the program during the spring of 2017 for personal reasons but returned for the fall practices. He required surgery on his shoulder that offseason, causing him to miss the first two games of his junior campaign. In his return, he would suffer an injury to his hand which caused him to miss more play but finished his junior year with only 33 tackles (5.5 for loss), four sacks, and one forced fumble.
Arden Key Highlights
Key is a freakish athlete that is blessed both size and speed that allows him to never gives up on a play. He has exceptionally long arms and a long body. Very explosive in getting around the tackles from the edge. Possess good speed with the ability to chase down ball carriers and tackle from behind. Has versatility to get away with snaps at the three-technique, with the ability to drop into coverage. When the defense needed a big play, he was there to answer the call.
Key’s long frame can work as a disadvantage as he needs to add more strength. He struggles to disengage from the block, and not consistent with impacting the run game despite his knack for double digits in tackles for loss. Can be a one-trick pony as he lacks pass rush moves outside of speed from the edge. Tends to telegraph his moves by showing his early allowing the tackles to counter, and telegraphs his spin move. Injuries are of concern from his shoulder and hand he sustained last season. Increasing weight gain is of interest as well as gaining some nearly 30 pounds since the season. Can be undisciplined at the time as he is fooled often with option plays.
Is he a fit for the Rams
Yes, Key has a tremendous upside and is an exciting player. He has the talent to be a first-round selection, but concerns with him leaving LSU his sophomore year raised red flags and concerns. Key is an incredible athlete, but he has a lot of flaws to work out to become an impactful player in the NFL. Key is raw, but Wade Phillips defensive scheme can bring out the best of his talent that will allow him to become an absolute monster. He never gives up as he plays to the sound of the whistle. The Los Angeles Rams just may him as a contingency plan in the third round if higher graded players are already selected.
2nd - 4th Round
Leonard Floyd, Chicago Bears