One prospect who may interest the Denver Broncos on day two of the 2023 NFL Draft is South Carolina cornerback Darius Rush. He is a 6’2”, 198-pound cornerback who is considered a day-two prospect who fits the Broncos' defense. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has Rush ranked as his ninth-best cornerback in the draft and has a 2nd or 3rd-round grade on him.
He played a total of four seasons at South Carolina and was a two-year starter for them during that span. During that span, Rush totaled 75 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 3 interceptions, 15 pass deflections, and 1 forced fumble. This past year, Rush totaled 38 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 2 interceptions, 7 pass deflections, and 1 forced fumble.
Darius Rush is a CB prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 9.80 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 45 out of 2171 CB from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/EjToL7AEmA #RAS pic.twitter.com/AmqxbFvNKt— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 4, 2023
Weight: 198 pounds
40-time: 4.36 seconds
Arm Length: 33 3/8”
Hands: 9 1⁄2 inches
Vertical Jump: 35 inches
Broad Jump: 10’1”
- Good combination of height, size, and athleticism
- A lengthy player with long arms
- Has fluid hips and a good backpedal in man coverage
- Physical corner who will press at the line
- Has the acceleration to make up ground on routes
- Is a former receiver and displays those ball skills as a defender
- A scheme-diverse player who can play in man or zone coverage
- Only penalized twice during his career
- Has a thin frame and will need to add some play strength to have success against bigger and stronger NFL receivers
- Not the best tackler and will need to improve his wrap-up skills
- Has only played on the outside and lacks slot experience
What other analysts are saying about South Carolina cornerback Darius Rush
Two-year starter at cornerback after moving from wide receiver in his redshirt freshman season. Rush is big, long, and physical. He struggles to stay connected with routes from both press and off coverages but could improve with more technique work. He will never have the short area foot quickness to mirror and match routes but has impressive ball skills to disrupt the catch when he’s in position. - NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein
A two-year starter at South Carolina, Rush was an outside cornerback in defensive coordinator Clayton White’s man-heavy scheme. As a big fish in a small pond in high school, he played multiple positions and was recruited as a wide receiver until Will Muschamp moved him to cornerback full-time, where he emerged as an ascending player the last two seasons. A good-sized athlete, Rush has excellent reactionary quickness in man coverage with the balanced movements to transition cleanly out of his breaks and make plays on the football. Though he does a great job closing space in coverage, his route anticipation is still a work in progress, and his play strength must improve to better match up with physical NFL wideouts. Overall, Rush is not a secure tackler and must continue developing his instincts in off coverage, but he has the fluidity and length to turn, run and stay stride-for-stride with receivers. His athletic cover traits give him NFL starting potential as a man-to-man corner. - The Athletic’s Dane Brugler
The Broncos need depth at corner, specifically at boundary corner and Darius Rush could be that guy. He is a lengthy and athletic corner who could contribute right away to the Broncos' defense this upcoming season.
He has the size, length, and athleticism that you cannot teach which should be intriguing for NFL teams. He is better at zone coverage but has upside in press-man coverage which the Broncos are likely to play a lot of this upcoming season.
He does have some issues, like all corners in the second or third round, but would be an intriguing option for the Broncos in the third round.