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2023 NFL Draft prospect profile - Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina

Is Rush an under the radar option to improve the Giants’ defense?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Auburn at South Carolina

The defensive secondary is always tricky to get right. Not only do the positions have high athletic requirements, but modern subpackages demand five, six, or even seven DBs (a mix of corners and safeties) who care capable of matching up with opponents’ starters.

The secondary also often provides a lot of players for special teams units, thanks to the general athleticism and experience hitting that corners and safeties have.

However, the secondary is often subject to brutal attrition, as New York Giants fans are well aware. Cornerbacks, in particular, are frequently asked to do athletically difficult things right at the ragged edge of human ability. Their jobs consist of sprinting backwards before exploding in a completely new direction — it’s little wonder why good corners are hard to find and they often get hurt.

It’s important for teams to keep a steady pipeline of talent ready. And teams that value size and speed will likely find themselves drawn to Darius Rush out of South Carolina.

The 23-year old is still new to the cornerback position, but he offers an intriguing blend of size, speed, and disruptiveness at the catch point.

Prospect: Darius Rush (28)
Games Watched: vs. Clemson (2021), vs. Arkansas (2022), vs. Kentucky (2022), vs. Georgia (2022)
Red Flags: Unspecified “Major” injury (2018), shoulder (2021), hamstring (2022)


Courtesy Kent Lee Platte (@mathbomb) | RAS.Football

Career Stats

Games Played: 29

Tackles: 75
Tackles for a loss: 5.0
Sacks: 1.0
Forced fumbles: 1
Passes defensed: 15
Interceptions: 5

2022 Stats

Games Played: 10

Tackles: 38
Tackles for a loss: 2.0
Sacks: 0.0
Forced fumbles: 1
Passes defensed: 7
Interceptions: 2

Quick Summary

Best: Length, speed, foot quickness, ball skills
Worst: Lower body fluidity, zone awareness, injury history
Projection: A developmental corner and special teams player with starting upside.

Game Tape

(Rush is South Carolina CB number 28)

Full Report

Darius Rush is a long, athletic, patient, and competitive cornerback prospect from the University of South Carolina.

Rush possess a great blend of length and athleticism for the position, standing 6-foot-2, with 33 ⅜ inch arms, and running a 4.36 second 40-yard dash. That size and speed allows him to effectively match up with bigger receivers in man coverage, as well as run with most speedsters down the field.

He also has impressive foot quickness, which can make up for his high-cut build and some lower-body stiffness. He is athletic enough to stay in phase with most receivers, at times running the route for them.

Rush combines his length with a very good closing burst and body control, which gives him the ability to contest catches in a broad radius. He uses his length well to play receivers hands and can be very disruptive at the catch point.

Rush is new to the cornerback position. He was recruited to South Carolina as a wide receiver, and even began his career at the position before transitioning to cornerback prior to the start of the 2019 season.

Rush’s background as a receiver shows up in several areas of his tape – for better and worse.

He seems to have an understanding of the strategies receivers use to disrupt corners’ timing. He does a good job of being patient at the beginning of routes, not biting on hesitations or fakes. That allows him to stay in good position throughout the route’s stem and stay in reasonably tight coverage. Likewise, he’s able to match receivers’ footwork at the top of routes and at the catch point.

However, Rush also clearly needs development in some areas of cornerback play. He can be slow to pick up or pass off receivers when playing zone coverage. At times he can find himself covering grass while receivers run past him. Likewise, there are times where he can bite overly hard on misdirection, and wait too long before coming off of routes when the ball has been delivered elsewhere. That can take him too far out of position to properly lend support.

Rush sets a firm edge in run support, and is willing to get his hands dirty as a tackler. However, he doesn’t play the run with significant aggressiveness. He can be slow to shed blockers and doesn’t seem to arrive with the intention to deliver hits.

Teams will need to pay particular attention to his medical reports. Rush suffered an unspecified “major” injury which cost him his freshman season. He also suffered a shoulder injury in 2021, and suffered a hamstring injury against Georgia and lingered throughout the 2022 season.

Overall Grade: 6.9


Darius Rush projects as a developmental depth piece and a core special teams player to start his career.

If he lands in the right situation, Rush should be able to find the field on defense relatively early in his career. He might be best in defenses that use more man coverage early in his career while the mental aspect of his game continues to develop. As things stand now, Rush plays faster in man coverage than in zone, despite a tall backpedal and some slight lower-body stiffness in his transitions.

Eventually, he would likely fit well in a defense that makes heavy use of Cover 3, with some Cover 1 shells. Rush’s blend of size, speed, and ball skills as a former receiver could make him a dangerous coverage player if he reaches his full ceiling.

That said, his ability as a special teams player and to be a capable backup or nickel defender should make Rush a valuable player, even if he never reaches his full potential.