— The Sports Xchange —
LSU junior Arden Key declared Thursday for the NFL Draft, where he figures to be one of the most intriguing prospects as an edge rusher.
NFLDraftScout.com’s Rob Rang projected Key as going 14th overall to the Green Bay Packers in a first-round mock draft earlier this week.
NFL teams that once relished Key’s sacking ability are now curious about his disappointing 2017. Among other things, he took a leave of absence in February for personal reasons, underwent shoulder surgery, then showed up out of shape.
After beginning to show glimpses of his sophomore season, when he set an LSU single-season record with 12 sacks, Key missed the final two games of 2017 after undergoing surgery on his pinky finger.
NFLDraftScout.com wrote: “When healthy and focused, his ability to wreak havoc off the edge as a speed rusher is unparalleled in this class. … He is consistently able to cross the face of tackles — whether lining up out of the two point (stand-up) or three-point (hand in the dirt) stance — or rushing off the left or right side.”
Key made 33 tackles, including 5.5 for loss and four sacks, in eight games this season. High points were making 1.5 tackles for loss in games against Alabama and Auburn.