Raiders end draft wait for LSU's Arden Key

The NFL club that nearly missed out on the chance to bring in LSU pass rusher Arden Key for an official pre-draft visit ended up being the one to end his draft wait.

The Oakland Raiders selected Key in the third round Friday with the No. 87 overall pick, adding a prime talent with first-round ability whose draft status was suppressed by character concerns among scouts. Key entered rehabilitation due to marijuana use last spring, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, and reported to fall camp last year out of shape following shoulder surgery.

Key's sophomore season in 2016, in which he compiled 12 sacks and was among the nation's fiercest pass rushers, served to show NFL scouts his true potential.

Key's schedule for official visits with NFL clubs filled quickly following his pro day workout at LSU in early April, and the Raiders made a late request to be added to the list. At one point, Key said it was uncertain whether he would be able to make the trip due to his busy schedule, but he added the Raiders as part of a trip to the West Coast to visit the San Francisco 49ers. The visit was among the ones that impressed Key most.

Key (6-foot-5, 238 pounds), who entered the draft as a junior, did not run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. analyst Lance Zierlein correctly projected him as a third- or fourth-round selection.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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