Scouting Report: Arden Key, Edge

Key has shown he can be a dominant player, but off field concerns could push him down draft boards. If he is available, would you want the Patriots to draft him?

NEPD Staff Contributor: Jeff Fidler



  • From Atlanta Georgia. Went to high school at Union City (GA) Naperville Charter. Had problems with grades in school early on.
  • Big time recruit coming out of High School.
  • Father played basketball in college.
  • Had shoulder surgery this past year & took off in the spring for “personal reasons”
  • Choose LSU over South Carolina.
  • Was suspended for Texas A&M game last year.



  • 6’5/240 w/ room to fill out w/ some added muscle to overall frame. Almost 34″ arms, huge 82+ inch wingspan & big hands.
  • Pass Rush – Great burst off the l.o.s. (will time snap & get off becomes lethal) Can run the loop & bend around OL’m. Body will contort in unique ways making it hard for OL’m to touch him. Will cross face w/ a great inside/out move. At times will use hands to stay clean, will use rip/dip & a spin move. Can attack inside/outside. Good balance when he sinks hips & gets low. Reduces surface & very hard to impede. Most of the time plays w/ high hands.
  • Run Defense – At times shows good strength to hold his ground at p.o.a. & shoot down the l.o.s. to make a play back side.
  • Versatility – Has experience playing with hand in the dirt or standing up.
  • At times is a smooth mover covering RB’s & TE’s underneath & in the flat.
  • Coaches & teammates talk about work ethic. Working w/ Chuck Smith to improve hand work.



  • Run Defense has to improve. Must improve overall strength. Effort tackling non-QB’S. When OL’m get their hands on him it’s a done deal for him.
  • Left team last year for “personal reasons”. Weight blew up to 270+ after surgery & is back down to 240. Wasn’t the same player w/ added weight. Some question how he’ll react to the money & fame.
  • Leggy athlete that shows stiffness at times when asked to cover. Didn’t look or act like he wanted to be a full time player.
  • Athletic, Veteran OL’m will take advantage of his lack of nuance & strength at first.
  • At times will advertise hand swats & spin move.



In terms of pass rush Key is instant pressure. Whether he’s in a 2 or 3 point stance, he just looks to get after the QB. Key is all about getting from “A” (L.O.S.) to “B” (QB) a.s.a.p. Not only does he have an explosive first step but also has moves to go along with it. The problem is that Key looks disinterested at times when not chasing the QB & Can be a liability in the run game. Today’s NFL is all about what, how much, you can do for a team. The more the better. Unfortunately for Key he’s just not the most versatile player right now. If he can improve slightly in his weak spots he’ll have a great chance to become an every down player if he wants it enough. Right now Key can be a pass rushing specialist on obvious passing downs.


Traits That Translate

Here are some clips that show off Key’s burst, bend & play on the l.o.s.









29 Responses to “Scouting Report: Arden Key, Edge”

  1. brandonmaxham says:

    I think mock drafts are fun so here’s another one :

    1st:Isaiah Oliver CB

    2nd:Duke Ejiofor DE

    2nd:Justin Reid S

    3rd:Will Dissly TE

    4th:Brandon Parker OT

    5th:Chase Edmonds RB

    6th:Logan Woodside QB

    David Williams RB
    Ray-Ray McCloud WR
    Anthony Wimbush EDGE
    Auggie Sanchez LB
    Dane Cruikshank CB/S
    Abdullah Anderson DL

  2. kevin z says:

    2nd : Dorance Armstrong DE-OLB can rush contain the edge played out of position
    2nd : Oren Burks Hybrid can cover blitz Cover TE RB Slot smart kid leader on and off the field
    2nd : Brandon Parker OL
    3rd : Fatukasi DT NT DE Big boy plays hard asked to just slant for RPO’s
    4th : Dj Reed Slot Nickel FS smooth athlete tough just short
    4th : PJ Hall NT DT smaller type can collapse pocket as well as chase down the line for the tackle
    5th : Woodside QB
    6th : Ito Smith RB quick cuts type plus can catch pass protect. hope drops here since RB class deep.

    Thinking Bills drafting Laurette they have crazy amount of picks too.
    Sign Ej gains or Richard Sherman in FA for CB help

  3. kevin z says:

    2nd : Oren Burks Hybrid can cover blitz Cover TE RB Slot Vandy connection with Adam Butler
    2nd : Fred Warner Will LB can cover plus has size cover TE RB Slot BYU Connection Van noy Langi.
    2nd : Fatukasi DT NT DE Big boy plays hard asked to just slant for RPO’s
    3rd : Will Dissly TE good overall TE Gronk game to game year to year now
    4th : Dj Reed Slot Nickel FS smooth athlete tough just short
    4th : Ito Smith Can run catch plus Pass Protect
    5th : Logan Woodside QB
    6th : Alex Cappa OL physical will throw you out of the club

    NO DE only because wont pay the expensive shiny ones. Need for speed plus fool teams on who blitzing or covering which Burks and Warner can do for the D like ATL does. which there D gave PHI Fits. Brown Guy along with Fatusaki can hold up OL which let Burks and Warner Fly around. No saf because Reed can Play FS Warner can play Chung role Burks can Cover as well.

    • steve earle says:

      “And another long gainer off the edge where Pat’s just can’t set the edge. The (fill in name of power run team here) is just controlling the clock and running up the yardage.)” Nope we don’t need no stinking DE’s.

      • kevin z says:

        Agreed got killed by the Run mostly on outside runs where our LB’s couldn’t range over.
        Too be fair did take Fatukasi who can play DE lol

        • steve earle says:

          No Kevin, I apologize I’ve been out snow blowing with a 75 YO bad back which is hurting and I am very cranky which does not excuse my rude reply. I’m sorry.

      • kevin z says:

        Its fine Steve thanks for the apology though. NOT offended were not all gonna agree. Hope back feels better and dang the snow melts for you ASAP.

  4. Russell says:

    Another Mock I like; BB trades 1st #31 to Detroit for 2nd #51, 4th #117, & 5th #153.

    2nd – #43 -DL Harrison Phillips, to replace Branch
    2nd – #51 – OL Barden Smith, to move from OG/RT to LT, to replace Solder
    2nd – #63 – DL Tyquan Lewis,
    3d- #95 – TE Ian Thomas, 11 1/2″ hands, solid blocker
    4th – #117- S Quin Blanding, disappointing 40 time 4.63
    4th – #136- CB Dee Delany
    5th – # 153- S Troy Apke, Special teams if Slater retires.
    6th – 205 – QB Matt Linehan

  5. Todti says:

    So, apparently the Patriots could have had both Bennett brothers if the timing had been right. I’m not quite sure how that would have worked out financially but I love the idea.

    I haven’t seen anyone talk about Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard. What I’ve read so far seems intriguing to me: smart, reliable, high motor, size, hands, edge setter – just missing athleticism. His combine wasn’t too bad, though:
    I could see him as a nice option in the 4th round or so, providing depth on the edge.

  6. kevin z says:

    Mock with a TE plus QB with no trade which doubt Happens. If don’t Draft a DT that’s fine I like GUY plus Brown. LB Depth killed us for most Part with Injuries. LB’s really stunk at tackling when stacked up the OL. Hope resign one of our FA OL. Think Garcia will come back as well. rushing DE OR Rushing OLB weak in this draft I think so will go fast. Armstrong has highest upside Over any who mayb there at 31. My reason is because can set the Edge plus rush also can play in space. He was doubled and tripled teamed on a lousy team. Sacks down this year with diff scheme to just play contain

    1 Dorance Armstrong DE-OLB can contain plus rush plz get him was on bad bad team

    2Kyle Laulette QB Some similar traits to Jimmy G

    2 Grissly TE good blocker can run lil bit Gronk iffy even if plays this year Allen could be gone anyway

    3 Dj reed slot cb-fs slot CB”S for most part are starters now. That’s the reason have him higher than most plus can play FS

    4 Griffin LB speed create havoc for most part Pats want you to tackle don’t really have high int guys. so don’t think hand missing will be a problem. His tackling tech better than most guys. think goes to sea even though hope Pats get him. For one think be a good player . reason two so all people rooting for him will hate on him just because on Pats SMH
    6 .Harding saf tough sob loves to hit. have his job be erase the TE he wont over think it.
    have him work the tackle dummy everyday to wrap up. that’s his 2 main flaws like to have a guy intimate on the back end doesn’t always have to be in front seven.

    • steve earle says:

      In all honesty I don’t view this as a good year for TE’s. They look like day 3 prospects to me. Taking the best of the bunch for the sake of taking a TE doesn’t seem like a sound idea.

  7. brandonmaxham says:

    I keep changing up my mock drafts so here’s another one I have in mind

    1 traded to DET for 2nd , 4th and 5th ( I have seen this trade from people and I like it as well )

    mock draft :

    2nd : Justin Reid S

    2nd : Mike Hughes CB

    2nd : Josh Sweat DE

    3rd : Mark Andrews TE

    4th : Darius Leonard LB

    4th : Dante Pettis WR/PR

    5th : Logan Woodside QB

    6th : Jaylen Samuels RB/FB/TE

  8. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Patriot Mock Draft and Free Agent possible signings.
    1 Justin Reid S Stanford
    2 Chukwuma Okorafor OT Western Michigan
    2 Jerome Baker LB Ohio State
    3 Kurt Benkert QB Virginia
    4 Akrum Wadley RB Iowa
    6 Ade Aruna DE Tulane

    Free Agents
    Orleans Darkwa RB Giants
    Donte Moncreif WR Colts
    Denico Autry DL Raiders
    Jay Bromley DT Giants

  9. kevin z says:

    2nd – Fred Warner LB-Hyrbid BYU connection with van noy and Langi can play bigger saf role too
    2nd –Brandon Parker OT
    2nd – Kyle Laulette QB about where jimmy G went
    3d – Fatukasi DT -NT Big always going hard was asked to just slant has traits to stop run plus rush
    4th – Dj Reed small CB-S smooth athlete tough play the slot plus FS tad shorter than Dmac
    4th –Marcell Frazier DE plays all out start out on 3rd downs to just rush
    5th – PJ hall DT play maker type bowling bowl style
    6th – Philip Lindsay RB can rush catch play ST

    Warner and reed Versatile Players. Warner can play LB plus bigger saf.
    Reed can play the nickel slot plus FS

  10. steve earle says:

    I keep working and reworking my mocks never fully satisfied. Taking into account some feedback from guys here I have another thought on it. My last mock I invented a couple trades which might have worked but Russell came up with a one trade scenario I like even better. I’ve been consistent in thinking BB will trade down our #31 and Russell suggested this. Trade our #31 to Detriot for their 2nd, 4th and 5th. I think that could work. Plus rethinking drafting a QB (again!) I’ve decided on this new mock

    2#43) Duke Ejiofor DE Wake Forest ( yup, back to my favorite)
    2#51 Det) Tim Settle DT Vir Tech ( Massive DT close run and collapse pocket)
    2#63) Brandon Parker OT OT NC A&T ( Future LT or swing OT, value depth early)

    3#95) (OKAY) Kyle Laulette QB ( likely not available here but decided to risk it in order to fill what I believe are more necessary needs) If he is not here there are a few prospects who can fit here so I decided to take a bit of a risk.
    Ade Aruna DE Tulane ( Stephen J. found this prospect and he could be a real steal)

    4#117 Det) Marqus Haynes OLB Miss. (Edge rush with ability to cover solid tackler)
    4#136 comp) Dane Cruikshank CB Arz ( has length and speed, good cover corner)
    5#153 Det) Trgray Scales ILB Ind. ( undersized but strong tackler, can cover)
    6#205) Tre Flowers SS Okle St (Size and range, good defender.)

    • Russell says:

      Good looking Mock. I really like this trade with Detroit given there needs. Detroit likely takes a DE Davenport, Hubbard ? with there first pick. They may want to jump ahead of N.Y. #34 to get the RB they want Guice, Jones? as N.Y. may want a RB as well, so trading to get the Patriots 1st #31 is logical. By giving the Patriots their, 2nd, 4th, & 5th, allows the Lions to keep their 3d for an O-lineman. This would also give the Lions a 5th yr. option, on both prospects. BB likes the value of picks 2nd- 5th rounds.

      • steve earle says:

        Right, it’s one of your best insights Russell. This trade makes sense for both teams on a couple levels. Detriot now has a new HC ( can’t think of his name, smiles) with good relationship with BB. Also Detriot is an NFC team which is added bonus plus your thinking of why it can work. Well Russell every once in a while you come up with a gem. Good thinking.

  11. Stephen J says:

    Results are in for CB Isaiah Oliver from Colorado

    6′ 0 2/8″
    201 lbs
    Wingspan: 80 5/8″
    Arm Length:33 1/2″
    40: 4.50(Combine)
    10 Split: 1.57(Combine)
    Vert: 35.5″(Pro Day)
    Broad: 10’8″(128″)(Pro Day)
    20 Shuttle: 4.0(Pro Day) also seen 3.94 posted
    3 Cone: 6.94(Pro Day) also seen a 6.85 posted

  12. brandonmaxham says:

    if it was the Arden Key from 2016 I would take him but not the way he is now he’s not the same person he was before .

  13. Stephen J says:

    For those of you on the Josey Jewell bandwagon let me make a comparison and you decide.

    …………..Josey Jewell……………..Elandon Roberts
    Arm L…..32″………………………..30 7/8″
    3 Cone….6.80……………………..7.23
    20 Shut…4.27……………………..4.26

    Jewell is faster laterally and slower vertically.

    Statistically(Senior Year)

    Solo Tackles…69…………………88
    Total Tackles..136………………..142

    As far as instincts go quite a few people said the same thing about Elandon Roberts coming out. One of them being our own Mike Gerken which can be seen here

    Why use a draft pick on someone who is near identical to someone we already have on the team and aren’t really happy with.

  14. kevin z says:

    1DE -Dorance Armstrong was asked to contain the run not to rush reason sacks low plus team stunk. Edge weak in my mind in draft so grab one early

    2- S White or S Reid if still there
    2-Fred Warner coverage LB
    3 Jewell LB smart instinctive tackling machine
    4-DJ Reed CB small but instinctive and tough
    6-PJ Hall DT hoping drops here since weight gain slowed him down

  15. lenny says:

    Caveat Emptor. His story is too reminiscent of Randy Gregory. No matter how talented a player might be, he cannot contribute while he is suspended.

  16. GM-in-Training says:

    I think the Pats believe containing the rush well is also a requirement for their DE, and they have shifted away from skinny speedster DE to long-armed stout 265+# DE.

    They haven’t brought in an Andre Carter/Mark Anderson type DE in years…not even as a 3rd down specialist.

    They will let their OLB be ~240# (e.g., Kyle V.), but not their DE.

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