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Meet the Prospect: Arden Key

Name: Arden Key

Position: Pass rusher

School: LSU

Ht/Wt: 6-6, 238

40-yard dash: 4.89 seconds (pro day)

Bench: Did not bench

Vertical: 31.0 inches

Broad: 117.0 inches

3-cone: 7.16 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.25 seconds

How he fits: Key is a talented natural pass rusher, but he comes with a little off-the-field baggage. Those concerns stem largely from a leave of absence for personal reasons he took from the LSU team last spring. He missed all of spring football, had shoulder surgery, gained weight (got up to as much as 280 pounds), and was never quite the player he was before he left.

View photos of NFL prospect Arden Key.

During his sophomore season before the absence, Key recorded 55 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks as a defensive end/linebacker hybrid rusher. Lingering issues with his shoulder and then a finger injury relegated Key to just eight games this past season. He had 33 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.

Key's length and natural rushing ability make him as interesting a prospect as there is in this draft. Key said at the Combine he's been very open and honest with teams about his absence, though he didn't get into any details with the media.

Key has experience rushing the edge in a 3-4, but also has the length and skillset to rush the passer in even fronts. Teams can never have too many good pass rushers, especially ones with some versatility to their game.

Teams will have to do their homework on Key, but he could be an interesting prospect in the right scheme.

Key observations: Key finished his career with 130 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss, 21 sacks and 28 quarterback hurries in 31 career games. The 12 sacks in 2016 set the single-season record at LSU.

What they had to say about him: "(Key is) as talented a natural edge rusher as there is in this draft. (He's) 6-foot-5, 238 pounds, he tells me he'll play between 245 and 250. He ran 4.9 (40-yard dash) at 238 pounds. That's not very good, but it's his quickness in short areas that's really telling. In the position drills, he looked phenomenal.

"The whole key for him is off the field. Man, you've got to evaluate him. Remember, Randy Gregory was a first-round talent. He went in the second round and pretty much has disappeared from sight because of off-the-field issues. There are similar concerns about Key. His job is going to be convincing NFL teams you can trust him." – Mike Mayock on after watching Key's pro day at LSU last week.

How he stacks up: Mayock listed Key among the top four edge rushers available in this draft after Bradley Chubb (NC State), Marcus Davenport (UTSA) and Harold Landry (Boston College). has Key as the seventh best defensive end available and the 72nd overall prospect.

Key didn't make Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 players, but comes in right at No. 50 by Scouts Inc. in their evaluation of the best players available.

What he had to say: "It'd have to be my long leverage," Key said at the Combine about what his best trait as a pass rusher was. "I'm long, I can bend the corner. I can spin. I can move the offensive lineman's set and use a move off of that, and of course speed rush."

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