In April, the Chiefs thought enough of KeiVarae Russell to make him the 74th overall pick in the draft. Today, they decided that Russell is not deserving of a spot on the 53-man roster. The Chiefs are releasing the third-round rookie, as Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets.
Getlin writes that it was a “special teams numbers game” that led to the defensive back’s release. Even if there was a roster crunch, it’s not often that you see a third-round rookie released in September.
Russell, a Notre Dame product, missed the 2014 season due to an honor code violation, which put his final season of eligibility in NCAA limbo. He returned in 2015, and started in 11 games before suffering a fractured tibia. In his shortened season, Russell restored much of his draft stock as he tallied 60 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and six pass deflections. After that showing, Russell decided that he would go pro rather than play out his senior year.
After running a 4.43 second 40-yard-dash at his pro day, Russell could quickly pick up interest from other teams.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.