Scouting Report: KeiVarae Russell, CB

Is Russell a guy the Patriots could take to bolster their CB group?

Is Russell a guy the Patriots could take to bolster their CB group?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

I am back again with another player breakdown.  If you have read any of my previous reports (shame on you if you have not) you can see that I have concentrated on the Cornerback position so far this season.  The Patriots have held up okay at the position so far, but this weekend will be the first real test since week 1.  Regardless of how the game against the Giants goes or the rest of the season for that matter, corner is a position that will need to be addressed. With that said, here is my thoughts on KeiVarae Russell out of Notre Dame.

Name: KeiVarae Russell

School: Notre Dame (JR.)

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 190 Lbs.

2015 Game Log Tackles Interceptions
9/5 Texas W 38-3 3 2 1 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9/12 @Virginia W 34-27 9 7 2 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9/19 Georgia Tech W 30-22 3 2 1 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
9/26 Massachusetts W 62-27 7 4 3 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
10/3 @Clemson L 24-22 3 3 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10/10 Navy W 41-24 7 7 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10/17 USC W 41-31 10 9 1 0.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
10/31 @Temple W 24-20 4 3 1 0.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
11/7 @Pittsburgh W 42-30 6 6 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


Russell has good size for the position and when you watch him he looks bigger than he is listed and seems to have a long upper body and arms.  He is big enough and physical enough to hold up against outside receivers and has adequate straight line speed.  Russell shows good timing on his jumps as well as his hands to break up passes without getting too physical with receivers that would warrant a flag.  He is an above average tackler and does not shy away from contact.  He is willing to come up and take on runners and will fight through blocks on bubble screens.


Russell was forced to sit out all of last year because of an academic scandal.  This issue may be behind him, but his character and reliability will be questioned by teams and could raise a red flag for some.  On the field he must improve his footwork and technique.  He bends almost at his shoulders rather than at his knees and he looks top heavy and off balanced at times.  Russell must work on his lateral agility as well.  Wide receivers that are good route runners are able to get separation from him.  The other thing I noticed that I did not like is that he struggles to look back for the ball.  He gets so focused on running with his assignment that teams can run to his side and he is oblivious to it.  He has to work on his field awareness so he can help out when the play is not directly at the guy he is guarding.


First off, I hate watching and scouting secondary players.  Corner is not as bad as Safety, but it takes a lot of time to watch enough of these guys to get a feel for what the do well and what they need to improve on.  Guys like Russell may only have a few plays that he is thrown at or is directly involved in for an entire game. Enough with the crying.

From everything I have read on Russell and the academic situation is that he is doing everything right to make up for the mistake and has become a good leader in the locker room, so I am not overly concerned with that aspect of this report.  I like a lot about what Russell brings to the field. He has a nice combination of size, speed and physicality to bring some versatility to the position.  Due to his aggressiveness and his lack of agility he will struggle with receivers who run good route combinations or are quicker and shiftier receivers. I really like his willingness and his ability to tackle. I don’t think he is an elite corner prospect but I think he could be a very good corner in the NFL and I think his style of play and his skill set does fit what the Patriots look for in their corners.  I think there is a chance he is around when the Patriots get on the clock (it really sucks not have a first round pick by the way.)


follow me on Twitter @midwestpatsfan.






7 Responses to “Scouting Report: KeiVarae Russell, CB”

  1. Russell says:

    I think Coach Belichick does not mind not having a 1st round pick. He knows the Patriots will get a 3 round compensatory pick (Revis) and likely 2 ,6th round picks for Vereen and Wilfork to add to the Patriots picks.

    • Jeff says:

      I think it probably stings quite a bit. The first round picks currently on the Pats are better than the 3rd rounders. Additionally, if Bill didn’t want a first round pick for some strange reason, he can trade it for a lot more than a 3rd and a few late rounders. That’s a huge cost to the team, and even if there’s enough talent on the team to overcome it, there’s no way to downplay that that is a major hit to roster development.

      • Russell says:

        I agree with you some what, however the Patriots 1st pick is always near the end of the round, almost an early 2nd round pick. The trade value of the 1st pick is lost as you stated, and thats big.

  2. Russell says:

    Interesting, not a guy I have on my Patriot draft board. If your looking for a Patriot type CB look at Vernon Harris 6’1+” 195 4.5 40yd. out of Dartmouth,
    Now I know what your thinking … the Ivy League? I have watched this guy in two games and he looks like the real deal. Strong tackler, smart player taking good angles , turns well, among the team leaders in tackles, log arms with good hand use. Looks like a CB with SS tackling ability.
    Not a lot of tape out there on him, and its likely he goes undrafted. 3.93 GPA in engineering.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Thanks for the heads up on Harris Russell. If I can find some tape I will make sure to watch him.
      Can I ask why Russell isn’t on your board Russell (see what I did there)

      • Russell says:

        OK Mike! Russell lacks the intangibles, (work ethic , Off the field issues, etc.) he’s also a Junior which may lack maturity. I have watch some tape on him, and the thing is I’ve seen other CB’s that stood out more. I try to compare guys, and Russell looks alittle like CB Ken Crawley, 6′ 180 4.51 40yd.
        With CB’s I like to see ball skills, (punt returner?) interceptions, hand on the ball with pass break-ups. I like to see CB’s that take/use good angles, and jump the route sometimes. Strong football smarts/ off the field smarts, etc.
        Of course few guys have all of what I like to see, my draft board is still on going, and I’m leaning toward coach Belichick Not drafting a CB. Guys on my board today;
        Cameron Sutton (also a JR.)
        Vernon Harris (7th round?)
        DeAndre Houston-Carson who played CB last year is a S this year.
        Best CB in the Country; Jalen Ramsey, no a fan of HargreavesIII.
        Like Kendal Fuller (Jr.) out with knee. Think he stays in school, very early draft pick next year.
        Best SS in the country; Jeremy Cash, doubt he’s on the board for the Patriots.
        I look for the Patriots to draft with their 2nd pick; Joshua Perry LB Ohio State.

        • Russell says:

          Forgot on my draft board, CB/S Sean Davis Maryland 6’1″ 205 4.52 40yd strong tackler, just got invite to the Senior Bowl. Late 3d/ early 4th round ?

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