Photo of KeiVarae Russell
Drafted By: Chiefs
  • Round 3
  • Pick 11
  • Overall 74

Combine Results

5.59 ?
  • 17 REPS
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"He was a corner at Notre Dame, but a lot of teams have evaluated him as a safety. He played the entire 2015 season with a fracture, and missed the entire 2014 season with an academic issue that would have been a one-game suspension at most other schools." -- Mike Mayock

  • 5'11" Height
  • 31 5/8" Arm Length
  • 192LBS. Weight
  • 10" Hands


The story of Russell's career at Notre Dame took a sharp left turn in August of 2014, as he and four of his teammates were suspended for academic improprieties. The prolonged investigative process cost him the 2014 season and 2014-15 school year, although he kept himself busy with community college courses, a job, and a strong workout program so he could return in 2015. He started 11 games for the Irish in his final season on campus, making 60 tackles, 3.5 for loss, two interceptions and four pass breakups. Russell was actually considered one of the top running back recruits in the country coming out of high school, but moved to the secondary for the Irish before his freshman season. The move paid immediate dividends, as he started all 13 games earning Freshman All-American honors (58 tackles, two interceptions). Russell started every game again in 2013 (51 tackles, eight pass breakups), finishing strong with his lone interception of the year and three pass breakups against Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl.

Pro Day Results

40-yard dash: 4.44 seconds
Short shuttle: 4.09 seconds
3-cone: 6.89 seconds
Vertical: 38 1/2 inches
Broad jump: 11 feet, 2 inches



First-day starter from the time he stepped foot on campus. Angular athletic build. Plays fast. Smooth hips and light feet opening from press. Plus route recognition. Anticipates and mirrors routes in space sitting in receiver's pocket along the route. Quick responder to play­action and sprints back into his responsibility. Observant from zone and off coverage. Shows recovery speed needed against long speed. Looks to do it the right way as tackler. Strikes with chest or shoulder and wraps up.


Can be posted up by size. Flat­footed pedal slows plant-­and­-close ability. Displays some balance inconsistency in change of direction. Ball skills can use work. Hyper­-focuses on his man rather than finding the ball and making a play. Can speed reaction time to what quarterback's eyes are telling him. Broken fibula at the end of 2015 creates medical concern. Missed all of 2014 due to "academic dishonesty".

Draft Projection

Rounds 2 or 3

Sources Tell Us

"He has second day talent as a cover corner, but he's not as big as you want and now the broken legs might complicate things." -- AFC regional scout

NFL Comparison

Aaron Colvin

Bottom Line

Smart, experienced cornerback has strapped it on against some of the best receivers in the nation during his time with the Irish. Russell has the athleticism and cover talent to play press coverage and make a living there, but he may never produce as many pass break­ups or interceptions as a team would like. Played outside and from the slot and offers that versatility to an NFL team as a future starter or third corner.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster