Considering LSU’s All-American edge rusher Arden Key’s sophomore season, one in which he set the single-season school record with 12 sacks, his junior year was quite the disappointment. That turn of events has Key reflecting.
Key only played in eight games and posted just 4 sacks as he battled through multiple injuries last season. He missed the first two games while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Key was also sidelined for the final two regular season games with a knee injury before having surgery on his finger and sat out the team’s Citrus Bowl loss to Notre Dame.
Prior to the start of the 2017 season, Key was projected to be a top 10 pick by some. However, his stock has dropped significantly as the NFL draft approaches in late April.
On Monday, Key posted a message on social media that acknowledges his final season in Baton Rouge didn’t go as planned, but he believes it will ultimately serve a positive purpose.
My junior year wasn’t the best year and it didn’t sit well with me but guess what? I learned a lot of life lessons and blessed I went through what I went through! #GodsPlan
— OptimusKey_ (@ArdenKey49) February 19, 2018
“My junior year wasn’t the best year and it didn’t sit well with me but guess what? I learned a lot of life lessons and blessed I went through what I went through! #GodsPlan,” Key wrote.
Speaking with NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, one anonymous NFL executive described Key as the most polarizing player in the class for LSU.
“We had guys who had huge grades on him coming into the season and they plummeted during the season,” the executive told Jeremiah. “We’re still trying to sort him out.”
Even ESPN’s Mel Kiper has said that he doesn’t see Key hearing his name called in the first round, calling him more of a second-round pick. Nonetheless, SEC Country’s mock draft has Key going with the No. 11 overall pick to the Miami Dolphins.
Key is one of 10 Tigers invited to participate in the 2018 NFL Combine in Indianapolis.