Arden Key   ER/LB/S    LSU


Arden is football smart and has remarkable athleticism along with excellent size, strength and speed to play multiple positions on your defense. He has those long arms and legs that make it easy for him to cover as a linebacker and those long arms and legs also give him a big advantage when rushing the passer in an up or down position. Arden shows an excellent burst off the line of scrimmage and has excellent change of direction skills. He is stout against the run when playing a 2 gap system using mature techniques to shed blocks and make tackles. Arden has all the skills, mature techniques, body type and natural athletic talent to play his position at a very high level but as I have been saying since the 2004 Draft, it take more than talent to play in the NFL.

Arden has medical issues (Knee and shoulder injuries) that could affect his draft status. He also surprisingly seems to be less mature off the field than he is on the field and a team suspension could be an issue that bothers a lot of teams. In this case I have no more information then the next person on Arden’s suspension from his college team but I can say this, off field issues have plagued him even in High School according to the “internet”.

The question is… how is it that Arden plays with the maturity on the field and seems to be less mature off the field? Arden can play in any style of defensive front. He also has talent to be used at linebacker in nickel and dime and as a cover safety too. He can rush the quarterback from different positions because of his natural strength and burst and mature hand usage. He can cover one on one because of his speed and change of direction skills and add to that his high football IQ and the truth is if he works out he could wind up being the first pick of this draft. The questions are… the suspension for team rules and what else coaches may be hiding along with his injuries? These are nagging issues that if Arden can’t come up with logical and acceptable excuses, will cost him on draft day. But not only will it cost him on draft day it will take time for his teammates and coaches to trust him. Most college coaches do not suspend a player for one mistake. Suspending a player at the college level usually means that player has been a chronic problem and this is the only way the coaches can reach that player because they have tried everything else. It’s obvious that playing at the college level comes easy to Arden and he is bored but at the next level, it won’t be so easy. Arden reminds me a lot of former Dolphins 1st Round pick Dion Jordan… on and off the field. Need I say more? This kid is a top ten player but I would never but my credibility on the line, suggesting that he should be a top ten pick. A scout’s job is to help inform GM’s and coaches on who to select in a draft. My thinking is I can see who to draft… I want my scouts to tell me who I shouldn’t draft. I wouldn’t spend first round money on this kid but that’s just me…Talking to Myself™

Drew Boylhart   DEC.2017