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28-08-2018 06:34 AM
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hongwei28
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As he squares off against first-round draft pick Kolton Miller almost daily in training camp Arden Key Jersey Elite , Oakland Raiders rookie defensive end Arden Key rarely uses the same move twice.

On one play, Key takes a jab-step inside then spins around to Miller's outside shoulder and speeds past the big left tackle. A few moments later, Key bull-rushes his way between Miller and another offensive lineman with little resistance.

It's not an indictment of Miller so much as it is a credit to Key, the Raiders' third-round draft pick who has been one of the early stars in training camp.

"We love Key," Oakland coach Jon Gruden said Monday. "We've liked Key ever since the draft process. We felt lucky to get him where we got him. There's some things this kid can do that are very special. Hopefully, we get full strength someday at the defensive end position and we can show our true colors."

Gruden was referring to defensive end Khalil Mack, who is entering the final year of his contract and is holding out for a new deal.

Mack, the 2016 defensive player of the year, has been the Raiders' best pass-rusher for the past four seasons. In hopes of giving him some help up front, the team used three of it first six draft picks to acquire Key along with defensive tackles P.J. Hall (second round) and Maurice Hurst (fifth round).

Oakland also moved Bruce Irvin from outside linebacker to right defensive end, the same position as Key. The two men formed a close bond, with Irvin serving as a mentor to Key.

Irvin compares Key to Aldon Smith, the talented but troubled former Raiders linebacker who had 33 陆 sacks in his first two NFL seasons before off-field issues forced him out of the league.

Like Smith, Key wears jersey No. 99.

"He's a really natural rusher," Irvin said. "He reminds me a lot of the old 99 that was here. If he keeps his head on straight, which he will Falcons Ito Smith Jersey , he's going to be a hell of a player and a hell of a player for the Raiders. Can't wait to see what he's going to do this year."

Irvin is among a number of Oakland players and coaches who have repeatedly praised Key during camp.

The 22-year-old has tried to keep it all in perspective. Key buries his head in the playbook and has been pouring over film of other pass-rushers, trying to find new tricks to add to his arsenal of pass-rush moves.

"I look at a lot of pass-rushers to try to steal some of their moves and try them in one-on-one," Key said. "If it works it works and if I like it, it's going to stick with me."

Getting around an offensive tackle, Key said, is much like a chess match.

"I always work on one move first and see if he beats it," Key said. "If he beats that then I'm going to counter with something else. If he beats my counter move then I've got to counter with another counter."

The Raiders have also had Key lining up in the three-technique over a guard, giving the defense more speed for the interior rush.

"He's a stud, I'll put it that way," linebacker Tahir Whitehead said. "He's big, he's strong, he's athletic. He can go inside, he can go outside. I'm excited to see him go out there in the first game and let it rip."

As for his ongoing battles against Miller, Key said the competition has been heating up between the two rookies.

"Kolton gets better every day," Key said. "From the first day we went against each to now, it's just gotten so much better. Now I have to dig in my tool box to try to pick different moves to use on him."

Notes: The Raiders will host two joint practices with the Detroit Lions beginning Tuesday. . RB DeAndre Washington has left the team for personal reasons but is expected back soon. . The team waived defensive back Shaquille Richardson and signed cornerback Raysean Pringle. . Gavin Newsome Lamar Jackson Jersey , a candidate for California governor, attended practice and chatted with owner Mark Davis.

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They're not comparable to Power Five players, or even guys from the MAC, AAC or Mountain West. At least not on the football field.

In the classroom? That's no contest.

Work in such subjects as nuclear physics, applied and computational mathematics, or geological engineering help Ivy Leaguers stand out in the real world. For NFL personnel people, such a resume is impressive 鈥?yet means a lot less than how fast a player ran the 40, how many squats he can do, or his injury history.

That doesn't mean the eight Ivy League schools who play in FCS 鈥?and don't go to bowl games 鈥?get ignored by the pros. Indeed, there were 16 Ivies in the NFL last season, six starters. Two more were selected last weekend: Penn receiver Justin Watson in the fifth round by the Buccaneers, and Yale safety/linebacker Foye Oluokun in the sixth by the Falcons. A few others have been signed as undrafted free agents.

Among the dozen 2017 pros were Tampa Bay tight end Cameron Brate of Harvard and New England fullback James Develin of Brown. Brate had 48 receptions for a 12.3-yard average and six touchdowns as one of Jameis Winston's favorite targets with the Bucs. Develin merely has won two Super Bowls and made the Pro Bowl last season, as did 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk , who attended Harvard.

"It takes an incredibly driven and dedicated individual to excel at the highest levels of academia and athletic competition," says Robin Harris, executive director of the Ivy League. "The Ivy League's unique approach allows our student-athletes to focus on reaching their fullest potential in both realms and prepares them for lifelong success Youth Minkah Fitzpatrick Jersey , whether in their field of study or professional athletic opportunities."

Oluokun hopes to seize his opportunity as a linebacker in Atlanta, though he's versatile enough to handle safety duties. At 6-1, 234, he's got the size, and can handle pass coverage.

Then again, when you can juggle a course load filled with the likes of macroeconomics, econometrics and European economic history, you probably can breeze through a playbook.

"I believe 100 percent it prepares you," Oluokun says of the schoolwork at Yale and the challenges of making the NFL. "You have got to put in that work and there are really no shortcuts here, and if you get behind you need to catch up, and that's not easy. So if you make that mistake, you learn from it.

"At first thought I thought it might be stressful," he adds of being a student-athlete in the Ivy League, "but it really is manageable if you approach it the right way. You have teachers who will help you out and you have tutors if you need them, or other students are kind of helping you out because they are in the same situation."

Except that the great majority of football players from Yale, Penn Cowboys Bo Scarbrough Jersey , Columbia, Harvard, Brown, Princeton, Dartmouth and Cornell are not heading to the NFL. Still, the true standouts get drafted, going back to 1949, when Penn's two-way lineman Chuck Bednarik went first overall to Philadelphia. All Bednarik eventually did was make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ivies in the league last season were Brate; Develin; Juszczyk; Giants tight end Ryan O'Malley (Penn); Colts center Anthony Fabiano (Harvard); Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie (Brown); Browns center J.C. Tretter (Cornell); Seahawks long snapper Tyler Ott (Harvard); Browns tight end Seth DeValve (Princeton); Colts defensive tackle Caraun Reid (Princeton); Panthers center Greg Van Roten (Penn); Jets linebacker Josh Martin (Columbia); Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (Harvard); Bills center Adam Redmond (Harvard); Bears tight end Ben Braunecker (Harvard); and Vikings guard Nick Easton (Harvard).

Two current head coaches, Dallas' Jason Garrett (Princeton) and Houston's Bill O'Brien (Brown) also are Ivy guys.

"The NFL is incredibly challenging for all players, especially rookies that have to make a big adjustment playing against professionals," says Princeton coach Bob Surace. "I have been impressed by the talent level of the athletes in the Ivy League. More high school football players have turned down Power Five schools recently as they realize they can reach their athletic dreams and long-term career goals better in the Ivy League than any other conference.

"As important, we are having more players make NFL teams better because our players love to compete, they have outstanding work habits and a burning desire to achieve at the highest level in everything they do."

Including, given the chance, in the NFL.

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