The Indianapolis Colts on Saturday doubled down on their approach of adding size and length at the cornerback position, selecting South Carolina's Darius Rush with their fifth round (138th overall) selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.
On Friday, the Colts used a second-round pick on Kansas State cornerback Julius Brents, who stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 202 pounds. Rush, at 6-foot-1 and 196 pounds, is built from a similar mold — which makes sense, given defensive coordinator Gus Bradley's background, particularly from his time with the Seattle Seahawks and its "Legion of Boom" secondary.
But, unlike Brents, who started his college career at cornerback, Rush didn't immediately find his true calling at that position.
Instead, Rush started his college career at South Carolina on the other side of the ball at wide receiver, where he was a three-star high school prospect, according to Rivals. But, according to his NFL.com Draft Profile, Rush redshirted the 2018 year due to injury, and by the following fall, he had started to make the transition over to cornerback.
Within two seasons, Rush had secured a starting job for the Gamecocks. In his final two college seasons, he collected a combined 63 total tackles (four for a loss) with three interceptions, 15 pass breakups and one sack.
The Colts liked what they saw when they watched Rush's film, and even considered making a run at him in the fourth round on Saturday before he fell into their laps in the fifth round as an intriguing prospect at cornerback with plenty of upside who could also become a contributor on special teams with his speed (4.36 40-yard dash) and willingness as a tackler.
"Darius Rush we really liked," Colts general manager Chris Ballard told reporters after the conclusion of the draft on Saturday. "I mean, he's an athletic, long corner – kind of fits our profile. A converted wideout so he's got ball skills. He can play the deep ball."
Rush could have plenty of opportunities to earn some early looks at cornerback over the next few months. The Colts this season return starters in Kenny Moore II and Isaiah Rodgers Sr., as well as key pieces of depth in Dallis Flowers and Tony Brown.
Others at cornerback for the Colts include Brents, Darrell Baker Jr., Kevin Tolliver II and David Vereen.
View photos of South Carolina CB Darius Rush, selected 138 overall by the Indianapolis Colts.