LSU defensive end Arden Key has been named the No. 3 true sophomore returning for the 2016 season by Pro Football Focus.
The players are ranked in order of their overall freshman grade.
1. Derwin James, safety, Florida State: +29.8 overall; No. 1 among returning FBS safeties
2. Myles Gaskin, running back, Washington: +26.8 overall; No. 5 among returning FBS running backs
3. Arden Key, defensive end, LSU: +24.1 overall; No. 20 among returning FBS edge defenders
Key showed himself to be the most productive of all freshmen defensive ends. Key’s +21.2 pass rush grade ranks No. 11 among returning FBS edge defenders and No.1 among all freshman edge players. Key totaled four sacks, 13 hits, 41 hurries and three batted passes on 332 pass rush snaps. Key also added 23 tackles and a +5.8 run defense grade showing that he is a well-rounded defender. Key should be one the nation’s best edge players for years to come.
4. Jake Browning, quarterback, Washington: +21.6 overall; No. 15 among returning FBS quarterbacks
5. Saquon Barkley, running back, Penn State: +18.1 overall; No. 16 among returning FBS running backs
6. Josh Rosen, quarterback, UCLA: +16.9 overall; No. 22 among returning FBS quarterbacks
7. Christian Kirk, wide receiver, Texas A&M: +14.5 overall; No. 17 among returning FBS wide receivers
8. Trenton Thompson, defensive tackle, Georgia: +11.3 overall; No. 63 among returning FBS defensive interior linemen
9. Josh Sweat, defensive end, Florida State: +10.6 overall; No. 54 among returning FBS edge defenders
10. Calvin Ridley, wide receiver, Alabama: +8.8 overall; No. 42 among returning FBS wide receivers
Not on the list, but should definitely be watched, is sophomore running back Derrius Guice from LSU. Although he plays behind Leonard Fournette, look for Guice to have a very productive season. Last year Guice ran for 436 yards, an 8.5 yard per carry average and three touchdowns.
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