Could DE Arden Key Aid the Detroit Lions' Defense in 2021?

Defensive end Arden Key was released by the Las Vegas Raiders.

On Thursday, the Las Vegas Raiders waived two of their younger defensive linemen -- defensive end Arden Key and defensive tackle Maurice Hurst. 

Hurst seems to be a defensive player most Lions fans would be thrilled to add to the roster.

But, what about Key?

First, a little background on the 24-year-old defensive end who played college football in the SEC. 

At one point, Key was considered to be a first-round selection. However, due to some off-field concerns -- a leave of absence from LSU in 2017 and an underwhelming athletic/weight profile at his pro day -- he fell to the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Raiders took a chance on Key, and it appears the gamble failed. 


There was always the assumption that Key would be a bit of a project. Of all the concerns of him coming into the NFL, perhaps injuries were the biggest part of his downfall.

Throughout his three-year NFL career, Key amassed 68 total pressures on 795 pass-rushing snaps. But, he was only able to record three sacks, according to Pro Football Focus. 

Outside of a pretty average pass-rush ability, his tackling has been downright disappointing. 

Overall, it makes Key only a pass-rush specialist who isn’t exactly great at the one facet of his game in which he is supposed to excel.

For the Lions, would it make sense for them to put in a waiver claim for Key? 

Despite his mediocre play, general manager Brad Holmes and the Lions are currently in a position to give a second chance to younger talents. 

It is possible that a change of scenery or developing a chip on his shoulder could force Key to tap into some of his potential. 

Given the low expectations in 2021, it wouldn’t hurt to bring Key in to see what he has to offer. In saying that, even with the Lions needing pass rushers, there would be a good chance Key is on the outside-looking-in for making the final 53-man roster.

Make no mistake, Hurst should be the player the Lions target, but adding Key via waivers doesn't hurt, either. 

Just don't get your hopes up for anything special on the field.

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