Tafur: Raiders Still Looking For Arden Key To Add Weight

Despite drafting Clelin Ferrell with the fourth overall pick, the Raiders still have a lot to sort out in terms of creating a pass rush in 2019. Ferrell isn’t expected to be able to shoulder the load as an edge rusher in his first season (even Khalil Mack only had four sacks in his rookie year), so there will be plenty of opportunity for Benson Mayowa and Arden Key to establish themselves in Paul Guenther’s defense.

Problem is, none of the Raiders top edge rushers right now are a lock to be above average this year – and there continues to be questions around Key.

“I think Arden Key, we’ve talked about him, is a big question mark still,” Raiders insider Vic Tafur said on The Athletic’s State of the Nation podcast last week. “He didn’t really put on the weight that they wanted him to. He’s still lifting weights right now and who knows what his production will be next year.”

Key may have been a little better last year than his stats would say, but he lacked strength and it doesn’t sound like that’s been addressed as of now. Given the responsibilities that come with being a three-down defensive end in Guenther’s system, there is no guarantee Key will be more than a situational rusher this year.

The good news for Key is that his issue at LSU at one point was actually gaining too much weight. He reportedly ballooned to 270 pounds at one point in college and it took a significant toll on his production. For now at least, it sounds like Key isn’t overweight and simply needs to add muscle to his thin frame. If all goes as planned, that will be something he is able to address in the four months before the season begins.

twitter: @raidersbeat


3 thoughts on “Tafur: Raiders Still Looking For Arden Key To Add Weight

  1. Guenther commented on this a couple of weeks ago. As you noted, he mentioned that Key was “a slug” when he played at 270, so they don’t want him to add too much weight..

    1. Khalil Mack didn’t play defensive end his rookie year. Hopefully with all of the defensive linemen we’ve added over the past couple years we can get at least 30 plus sacks.

      1. Yea, i like Ferrell, that said only a few DE have reached 10+ sacks their rookie year, now Lawson jad 8.5 situationaly for PG and CF will see triple time on the field. I expect Hall and Hurst to ne absolute nightmares in the middle creating lots of opportunites. The Coverage is mich netter and will hold up, which will allow time for CF to get home, KJ will ne used to Rush QB and 1 of Key or Crosby will benefit. The improvement of the 2nd and 3rd year guys along with new additions should almost triple the sack total as doubling it would still be last place.

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