Former Western Kentucky University star safety Devon Key did not hear his name read out during this year’s NFL Draft, but it didn’t take long for the 6-foot-1, 210-pound defender’s phone to ring.
The undrafted free agent was quickly snapped up by the AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs. Key had a standout career at WKU and his former college defensive coordinator Maurice Crum believes he has what it takes to make it in the NFL.
Crum spoke with the Arrowhead Addicts site about his former defensive leader.
“A lot of guys, when you get them out of their comfort zone, you gotta give them a few extra reps to make sure they’re comfortable to do whatever. With Devon, if on the second series of the game I said, ‘I need you to show in the post and run to the flat,’ he’d just say, ‘Okay.’
Crum believes Key’s in-game intelligence is what will set him apart in the NFL.
“I think that’s what people can be really excited about for Devon. He’s going to be a guy who you see when you suddenly look up and wonder, ‘Where’d this guy come from?’ We won’t be surprised because he’s a smart guy and takes care of his body the right way. I think his coaches will love everything about this young man. He’ll be an asset, a guy who just makes play after play after play.”
How can Devon Key impact the Chiefs this season?
Here’s a look at how the 2020 All-Conference USA second-team player can help the Kansas City Chiefs improve on defense in 2021.
#1 – Intelligence
As Key’s former DC spelled out earlier, the defensive back is smart and that can only help the Chiefs defense.
The rookie safety is a fast learner, which will help him as he makes his way through his first NFL training camp. Pro Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu will be an invaluable asset for Key during pre-season. He will learn from the best as he steps foot in the NFL.
#2 – Versatility
While Devon Key played most of his football at safety during his college career, he could get the opportunity to get some time in the dime package as a linebacker or in the slot role.
The Chiefs love defensive veratility so Key could be used across the field in his rookie season.
#3 – Tackling
Devon Key was a tackling machine during his time at Western Kentucky. With 350 career tackles, he set the program’s FBS era record, surpassing Andrew Jackson’s 326 tackles from 2010-13.
Every NFL defense needs players who can tackle and Key could make a name for himself at Arrowhead as a guy who can bring down any opposing player. On the face of it, this appears to be a shrewd move from the Chiefs.