ARDEN KEY – “OPTIMUS KEY”
Position: EDGE (#1 ranked)
Date of Birth: May 3, 1996 (Age 21)
COMBINE RESULTS (* indicates top performer)
40 yard dash
3 cone drill
20 yard shuttle
- 2015: 12 games – 41 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 pass deflection, 1 fumble recovery
- 2016: 11 games – 55 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 11 sacks, 3 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery
- 2017: 8 games – 33 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble
Strengths Freaky combination of length, athleticism, and explosiveness. Capable of playing in 2-point and 3-point stance. Eagle-like wingspan allows for him to keep blockers off chest. Blur off the snap; remarkable snap awareness and lethal first step. Great burst and short area quickness to win as a speed rusher. Increased repertoire of pass rush moves during his career. Master of inside outside move; pulverizing false inside step that freezes blocker allowing him to get outside. Delivers strong, violent swipe to get to the edge. Ability to sink hips, change direction and turn the corner. Incredible balance when going low and bending the edge despite long legs. Effective inside spin move. Added coverage skills. Keeps up with backs and tight ends with solid mirroring skills and fluidity. Competes for inside hands and leverage in run defense. Offseason weight gain has opened up more for him in the run game. Consistent in pursuit of the ball carrier. Length comes to good use when going up to bat passes down. Generally plays zone read responsibilities well.
Weaknesses Lean, skinny frame makes him vulnerable to getting stonewalled at times. Lacks upper body strength to deliver a powerful initial blow. Long legs can make it difficult to change direction. Can struggle to disengage and shed blocks as a result of build and frustrating absence in hand use. Often times will bite too hard on fakes and focus in on rushing the QB when setting the edge. Shoulder surgery over the summer.
Grade 97 (Early 1st Round)
Pro Comparison Jason Taylor
Summary Key has a wiry build that can at times make it hard to get off blocks, but he has the length and athletic tools to be a top-notch pass rusher at the next level. He does most of his damage as a stand up rusher in a 3-4 defense. He’s improved throughout his college career, adding pass rush moves and coverage ability to his skill set, and has the production to show for it. Look for Key to become a double-digit sack artist with elite potential for years to come.