49ers roster: 5 players on bubble who need strong training camp
By Peter Panacy
No. 2: 49ers EDGE Arden Key
There was a time when former LSU EDGE Arden Key was considered a candidate to be the top overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Yes, Key’s draft stock slipped considerably, and he ultimately fell all the way to the Oakland Raiders in Round 3 of that year’s draft, but the potential has always been there for the 6-foot-5 pass-rusher.
It’s just been a matter of not putting it all together on the field at the pro level.
That caused him to flame out with the Raiders, but now the hope is he can somehow revitalize his career as a low-risk offseason addition by the 49ers. The thinking being Key, who has just three sacks over a three-year career, can flourish under Niners defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, who has maximized the impact from many a player who didn’t find success elsewhere.
Fortunately for Key, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to make a splash.
Yes, San Francisco is getting EDGE Nick Bosa back from his 2020 ACL tear. But fellow EDGE Dee Ford remains sidelined with a back injury, putting Key into a competition with other outside rushers like Jordan Willis and Daeshon Hall for one of the depth pass-rushing spots on the 49ers’ regular-season roster.
If Key looks more like the up-and-coming prospect he was back in late 2016 and early 2017 in camp, he’ll hang around.