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Former NFL DE: Myles Garrett not on same level with Arden Key


To whatever extent Myles Garrett is a can't-miss talent, former NFL defensive end Chuck Smith believes an even better pass rusher is on his way: LSU's Arden Key.

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"Myles Garrett is not on this guy's level when it comes to pass rush," Smith recently told Gridiron Now. "This guy is the best pass rusher in the SEC over the last 15 years. No one is even close. ... If he's not the No. 1 pick next year? Teams are going to miss out."

That's high praise, but it comes with a caution light. Private instruction for pass rushers is Smith's business, and Key is among his pupils, so it's in his best interest to promote Key. Smith operates Chuck Smith Training Systems in Duluth, Ga. It's also worth noting that Key will only be a junior this fall, so it's not a certainty that he'll even be available in next year's draft. Still, Smith has worked with the likes of Von Miller and notched 58.5 career sacks himself, so he knows of what he speaks.

Garrett, of course, was the No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns in this year's draft, and his success at Texas A&M somewhat overshadowed Key, who competed in the same division (SEC West). Key broke LSU's single-season sacks record with 12 as a sophomore last year, and recently rejoined the program after taking a leave of absence for personal reasons. Smith projects him as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

"He's got bend like Von Miller and a spin like Dwight Freeney," Smith said. "He knows how to do all the pass rush moves, why to use the moves, how to use the moves and he has edge speed. He can head fake you like Osi Umenyiora. That's what makes him special. I guess the last thing that makes him special is he has that dog in him. That real dog, and he is hungry to be the best."

If Key ends up drawing better draft grades than Garrett, the buzz surrounding his potential -- whenever that time comes -- will be deafeningly loud.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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