Bruce Irvin: Arden Key Reminds Me Of Aldon Smith

One of the controversial draft picks the Raiders made over the weekend was LSU edge rusher Arden Key.

Key was regarded as one of the top talents in the draft, but is considered one of the riskiest prospects because of off-field issues. To complicate his draft stock even more, Key’s play on the field fell off as his weight ballooned in his final year at LSU.

Nevertheless, Jon Gruden needed a pass rusher and the Raiders pounced on Key in the third round.

Ironically, the man already taking Key under his wing is Bruce Irvin – the player Key was essentially drafted to replace.

Irvin made an appearance on NFL Network on Tuesday and compared Key’s football skill set to a player Bay Area fans are very familiar with:

“He reminds me a lot of Aldon Smith. Big long guy, he’s 6’6, 245-250, but he’s still a kid so he could easily get to 265-270.

I’m eager to work with him and make sure to keep his head on off the field, let him know that me and K-Mack and the rest of those guys are depending on you, man. What you do outside the building reflects not only you, but all of us.

So I’m ready to get him in here, get my hands on him and see what he can do.”

For what it’s worth, both Key and Smith measured a shade under 6’5 at the NFL Combine, though Smith was a little heavier with a bit longer arms.

But the comparison Irvin made is for the most part accurate – both Smith and Key are physical freaks.

Unfortunately, the concern with Key is that the Aldon Smith comparison will prove to be accurate beyond the football field.

The Raiders assumed the risk that came with Smith and it backfired. Hopefully, the law of averages will produce a different story for Key.

twitter: @raidersbeat


7 thoughts on “Bruce Irvin: Arden Key Reminds Me Of Aldon Smith

  1. The concern with Key is that he’s a troubled kid . Reggie said they have a ” system in place to help him.”
    A statement like that lends suspicion that there are more issues with him than have been reported. To his credit though , he DID check himself into rehab which goes a long way to suggesting that he has some self control . I personally think he will be ok . There are a lot of positive influences on that team and I think he will watch how guys like Mack , Carr , Irvin , Nelson ( Jordy ) and see how it’s done.

  2. Stop hating until he actually does something wrong. At least he didn’t make racial slurs and make a lame as apology about being youthful. Kids make mistakes but it always appears young men who are not white are judged more harshly. I hope he balls out and all you alleged experts can swallow your own words.

    1. I guess you missed the Mayfield Manziel comparasons…you know because Mayfield and Manziel are not white

  3. Wow bottom line this draft looks so shaky and risky. It’s one thing to pick a certain player who has risks with upsides but it’s another to pick an entire draft class this way. Would the best organization in all of sports the New England Patriots do this, no way. This is very concerning and really shows that the plan in place is not based on solid evidence but on hunches which is not an effective way to run an organization

  4. Ohhh man, that’s what I said from the getgo on his draft day. “He reminds me a lot of Aldon Smith. Big long guy, he’s 6’6, 245-250..” ..w/ a pinch of the free spirit life in him w/ the mojo charge and rehab lol.

    And check this Nation: guess what his new number is per 24/ … #99 (just like Aldon lol)
    “Schneidman added that LSU pass-rusher and third-round pick Arden Key will wear No. 99..”

    I was watching some film of Key and he plays alot like Smith (lol similar names eh: Arden/Aldon)
    Keep ya fingers crossed Nation and let’s support & cheer on the 2nd coming of a monster pass rusher like Smith was. Welcome to the Nation Arden! And keep ya head up Aldon, and god you bless man. Peace.

  5. Oh good god. The guy was smoking weed. If that’s his off the field issue, Who cares? He isn’t Marinovich.

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