Scout's Notebook: CB Travis Key

Strong Safety Travis Key was signed by the Cleveland Browns this morning. What's his potential?'s Kevin Brown took an in-depth look last month. Here are his findings...

#36, Travis Key, CB
(5085, 184, 4.50-4.62) Michigan State

Notes:  Born 12/31/85.  Parents are William and Jacqueline Key.  Was a two-year starter at cornerback and wide receiver for coach Scott Shaw at Three Rivers (Mich.) High School.  Earned all-conference honors as he intercepted 4 passes and returned 3 kicks (2 kickoffs, one punt) for touchdowns as a senior.  Three-year letterman in track as a sprinter, earning all-state honors in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.  He was also a two-year starter at point guard on the basketball team, averaging 9.1 points and 5.3 assists as a senior.

College:  Originally walked on at Michigan State in 2003.  Saw limited action in 6 games in 2004; recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown.  Appeared in 9 games and recorded 2 tackles in 2005.  Played in 12 games in 2006; recorded 42 tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss, one sack, one interception, 4 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.  Voted one of four team captains by teammates as a senior (2007); started at strong safety and registered 69 tackles, one tackle-for-loss, 8 PBU, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries (one returned for a score) and 2 interceptions (including one returned for a TD).  Three-time Academic All-Big Ten.  Played in 40 career games with 113 career tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3 INT, 12 PBU, 4 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries.  Earned his bachelor's degree in packaging.

Posted times of 1.54 10-yard dash, 2.59 20-yard dash, 4.54 40-yard dash and a 35-inch vertical jump in pre-draft workouts.

Pro:  Originally signed by the Vikings as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2008 NFL Draft.  Key also received contract offers from Cleveland and Indianapolis.

Positives:  Tough, productive, overachiever who merits a look as a Cover-2 zone corner.  Solid open-field tackler and hard hitter.  Makes plays.  Extremely hard worker.  Very determined and focused on improving and succeeding.  Sound character.

Negatives:  Lacks size and top-end speed.  Plays more like a safety but lacks the size you look for inside and the height and speed you'd ideally want at cornerback.  Needs to improve coverage technique.

Summary:  Has a little Antoine Winfield in him, in that pound-for-pound he is an impressive hitter and tackler.  Like most rookies, he will have to impress on special teams to differentiate himself in training camp, but he's a tough, productive, overachiever who fits the mold as a zone corner.

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