Myles Garrett was recently taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft because he’s a generational talent with explosive athleticism and great production.
So naturally, there’s already a guy who’s being hyped up to be better than him. Who? LSU defensive end Arden Key.
“Myles Garret is not on (Arden’s) level right now when it comes to pass rush,” Chuck Smith, a former NFL All-Pro defensive end who now runs a training business for pass rushers, recently told Gridiron Now. “This guy is the best pass rusher in the SEC over the last 15 years. No one is even close.” Smith goes on to say that whatever NFL team holds the No. 1 pick next season will be making a big mistake if they don’t choose Key.
Smith certainly has the reputation to comment on such manners, as he played 8 seasons in the NFL and accumulated 58.5 career sacks. Full disclosure—Key has been training under Smith since he was a senior in high school, so Smith obviously wants his pupil to be a great player. But Smith has also extensively trained players like Markus Golden (12.5 sacks for the Arizona Cardinals last season), Dee Ford (10 sacks for the Kansas City Chiefs last season) and Robert Mathis (now retired, Mathis ranks 17th in NFL history with 123 career sacks). He didn’t dub any of them “The Chosen One” like he has Key.
Key’s been a force at LSU. As a sophomore last season, he recorded 12 sacks (an LSU single-season record) and three forced fumbles in just 11 games en route to first-team All-SEC honors. He’s already being projected as a top-five pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and a sensational junior season could boost his stock even higher.
Smith touts Key like some kind of terrifying pass-rushing cyborg, saying he has a spin move like Dwight Freeney, bend like Von Miller and a head fake like Osi Umenyiora. During Key’s freshman season at LSU, Ed Orgeron—who’s now the team’s head coach—served as his positional coach. “I’ve never had a guy like this,” Orgeron told FoxSports.com in January of 2016. “Arden’s so fast and long, and instinctive and smart. He’s also tough as nails. (Greg) Hardy was stronger, but not as fast or fluid like this guy. Wait till he gets to 250 (pounds).” Guess what? Orgeron recently told reporters Key is now up to 255 pounds after playing at 238 last season.
We’ll keep you updated on Key’s progress leading up to the 2017 season.
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