Darius Rush, CB
School: South Carolina | Conference: SEC
College Experience: RS Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6’2” / 198 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Rounds 3-4
Player Comp: Darius Slay
Originally a wide receiver out of high school, Rush played in 43 games at South Carolina, starting 21, over the course of five seasons with the Gamecocks. He redshirted his freshman year, in 2018, but played in all 12 games, primarily as a special teamer during his second season.
He got his shot as a starter during his redshirt junior year, and played well enough during his redshirt senior year to get an invite to the Senior Bowl. Rush lined up opposite potential first round cornerback Cam Smith during his two seasons as a starter in South Carolina.
Rush is a good scheme fit for a team that primarily plays zone, as he lacks the ideal short area quickness for a true man cover corner. That said, given his relatively recent transition to CB, he likely possesses developmental upside at the position, and a ceiling beyond his current level of performance.
Rush has the capacity to be an immediate impact player on special teams, and the potential to develop into a starting outside corner given some experience in the pros.
- Great size and wingspan.
- Blazing fast, and physically comps to some of the best CBs in the game.
- Willing to be physical at the point of attack.
- Able to track the ball well in space.
- Capable tackler.
- Accomplished gunner on special teams.
- Can suffer from hip tightness at times.
- Large size can present some issues when dealing with quicker, smaller WRs.
- Played exclusively on the boundary.
- Had some injury issues in college.
Let’s See His Work
WATCH - Gamecock DB Darius Rush (@DariusJRush ) makes a one handed interception at @seniorbowl practice. @WLTX | #Gamecocks pic.twitter.com/oSA6V31Dew— Chandler Mack (@chandlerdmack) February 1, 2023
I don’t highlight defense too much on here but this is a hell of a play by South Carolina CB Darius Rush. Deserving of slow-mo. @CoachSBeamer pic.twitter.com/BHOe7v4pNG— Last of the Fullbacks (@TheLastFullback) January 28, 2022
South Carolina CB Darius Rush also has special teams experience as a gunner. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/W7cYWuS1ZR— WBG84 (@WBG84) April 11, 2023
How He Would Fit
Most of the attention has been on Rush’s companion corner, Cam Smith, in the lead up to the draft, but Rush strikes me as just the sort of player I would be looking to nab in the third round or so. Physically, he comps to several of the best cornerbacks currently in the league, and many of his shortcomings appear to be the result of a relative inexperience of having played cornerback.
There are some past injury concerns with Rush, but given that Washington’s need at cornerback is eventual (e.g., next year), not immediate, I think this would be a near-ideal landing spot for him to build experience, getting snaps primarily on special teams as a rookie, with the opportunity to potentially pick up spot starts later in the season.
He’s a strong scheme fit for Jack Del Rio’s zone-heavy defense, and Washington shouldn’t allow the shadow cast by Smith’s play to obscure the likely treasure hidden beside him in plain sight.
Where would you be comfortable drafting Darius Rush?
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