The Kansas City Chiefs put in a claim for former Indianapolis Colts rookie cornerback Darius Rush during the waiver period following roster cutdown day in the NFL on August 29.
Per the NFL’s personnel notice on August 30, Kansas City won its bid for Smith.
The Chiefs claimed CB Darius Rush off of waivers from the Colts.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 30, 2023
The reactions regarding the signing and Rush as a player started pouring in after the transaction was shared on Twitter, which was recently rebranded to “X”.
“Darius Rush to Kansas City! Rush, at 6’1 198, a crazy athletic, raw, lanky and ran the fastest clocked time at the Senior Bowl (21.65 mph). He is exclusively an outside corner and excels in man-coverage where his athleticism and length help him stick to WRs,” Free Agency Frosty wrote.
Darius Rush to Kansas City!
Rush, at 6’1 198, a crazy athletic, raw, lanky and ran the fastest clocked time at the Senior Bowl (21.65 mph).
He is exclusively an outside corner and excels in man-coverage where his athleticism and length help him stick to WRs. pic.twitter.com/GLZwYvG03D
— Free Agency Frosty (@FrostyTalksFB) August 30, 2023
“Like the waiver claim of Colts fifth-rounder Darius Rush by [the Chiefs],” Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy wrote. “Rush fits long & fast CB profile Chiefs ideally want. FWIW, @seniorbowl had same grade on Rush that we did on Joshua Williams and higher than Jaylen Watson. And both those guys played well last year.”
Like the waiver claim of Colts fifth-rounder Darius Rush by #ChiefsKingdom. Rush fits long & fast CB profile Chiefs ideally want.
FWIW, @seniorbowl had same grade on Rush that we did on Joshua Williams and higher than Jaylen Watson. And both those guys played well last year.
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) August 30, 2023
“Pretty head-scratching to me the #Colts waived Darius Rush, thus exposing him to waivers (could have cut one of the DTs?),” Kevin Bowen of 1075 The Fan wrote. “Rush plays a premium position, showed some flash and is still young to playing CB.”
Pretty head-scratching to me the #Colts waived Darius Rush, thus exposing him to waivers (could have cut one of the DTs?).
Rush plays a premium position, showed some flash and is still young to playing CB. https://t.co/a3aiDtXcGu
— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) August 30, 2023
What to Know About Darius Rush
Darius Rush, 23, is overall a raw prospect at his position. But his 9.81 Relative Athletic Score (RAS) — which ranks 43 out of 2212 cornerbacks from 1987 to 2023 according to Kent Lee Platte of RAS’s official website — has helped him make up for whatever he is lacking in fundamentals during his short career as a cornerback.
Rush began his college career at South Carolina as a receiver before converting to cornerback in 2019. He went on to play four seasons in the SEC, accumulating 61 tackles, 15 passes defended, 5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble during that time span, according to Sports Reference.
While attending Senior Bowl week during his final collegiate season, Rush earned high marks from evaluators.
“Rush’s play was the most pleasant surprise this week. In fact, I would argue no player made himself more money than the Gamecocks’ corner,” The Athletic’s Dane Brugler wrote on February 3. “It wasn’t just one or two strong days of practice — he consistently showed up in all three practices, running better routes than the receivers and disrupting catch windows. No defensive back got his hands on more footballs.”
Brugler went on to say Rush’s stock was “way, way up” following Senior Bowl week.
Rush was selected in the fifth round — 138th overall — by the Colts in April’s draft.
During the preseason, Rush showed flashes of a promising prospect, which included a pick-six in his preseason debut against the Buffalo Bills. Yet, the Colts decided to potentially lose Rush by waiving him instead of cutting him and possibly re-signing him to the practice squad, which made him available for the Chiefs to claim.
How Darius Rush Fits in KC’s System
Jimmy Nagy’s aforementioned comments on Darius Rush’s fit with the Chiefs are exactly why this under-the-radar move is so intriguing for Chiefs Kingdom.
Kansas City has a knack for developing raw talent at the cornerback position, with recent examples including L’Jarius Sneed (2020 fourth-round pick), Joshua Williams (2022 fourth-round pick), and Jaylen Watson (2022 seventh-round pick). That’s why a player with Rush’s size and athleticism is the perfect mold for the Chiefs’ system.
That’s also why this waiver claim could potentially go down as one of general manager Brett Veach’s smartest moves as the Chiefs general manager.
Sneed’s rookie deal is expiring in 2024, and the Chiefs have not yet publicly displayed an effort to give him a new deal. So, if Sneed signs elsewhere in 2024, he would be leaving a large snap share behind. That’s why taking a flier on a player like Rush is a smart, calculated decision for the Chiefs, who are attempting to keep their championship window open as long as possible by nickel-and-diming at certain positions with much success, specifically at cornerback.
Like Heavy.com’s content? Be sure to follow us.
This article was originally published on Heavy.com
This content was originally published here.