In this week’s waiver wire, we have an intriguing prospect at defensive end whose role is likely to grow substantially, an old favorite who broke through, a young coverage specialist who is making the most of a small role, a journeyman who put together an amazing week, and a crowded safety position that didn’t get much clearer. Let’s get started!
Arden Key, DE OAK
I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for high-ceiling guys. So much so that I become blind to their floor. That bias revealed, I really liked Raiders’ defensive end Arden Key as a college prospect. And what’s not to love? He set the LSU team record for sacks in his sophomore year with 12. He was tearing up the SEC, and then… something happened. He left the team for a while, struggled with his weight, and then limped along with a myriad of injuries. While his name was once bandied about as a top five overall pick, by the time draft day 2018 came around, Key slipped into the third round.
It didn’t seem like Key had a direct path to snaps in his rookie year, either. With Khalil Mack on one side of the defensive line and Bruce Irvin on the other, Key was most likely to make an impact on special teams, if at all. Well, we all know what happened next. Mack was traded, Irvin was cut, and now Key is seeing significant snaps.
A word of warning: don’t blow your blind bid waiver dollars on Key or drop a consistent producer from your roster to grab him. He has only one sack in 2018 and is a work in progress. But if you’re out of contention this year and looking for a prospect for the future, Key should get plenty of opportunities to prove he belongs.