by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of NFL.com.
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed cornerback Darius Rush off of the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad. Rush, a 5th round draft pick by the Indianapolis Colts in this past 2023 NFL Draft, was waived by the team in late August and picked up the day after by the Kansas City Chiefs and placed on their practice squad.
The Steelers, needing to make a roster move to obtain Rush, are looking into trading cornerback Desmond King who they signed on August 31st after the Houston Texans released him. Per reports, if the Steelers do not find a trade partner, he will be released.
King, 28, was a 2017 5th round pick out of Iowa by the Houston Texans. He has had a solid career as a cornerback and a return specialist, and for the Steelers this season, he has only returned 4 kickoffs for a 22.0 avg.
The 6’2”, 195-pound Rush was a favorite of Draft 412 coming out of South Carolina with his strong performance at last February’s NFL combine and at the Senior Bowl, where he was a standout among other prospects. His coverage skills and speed were on display all week, and his 40-time (4.36) at the combine was one of the fastest on the week.
He is a strong tackler who has the length and speed to be a factor in the secondary. At South Carolina, with Cam Smith as the other cornerback, many teams tried throwing the ball to Rush’s side with little to no success. Rush struggles with man-to-man assignments but if he is used in the right way, he can be a successful nickelback with big play ability.
See below for Draft 412’s profile of Darius Rush…
There is little downside to this move, as the Steelers are “signing” another 2023 5th rounder to the roster at little or no cost. Though the Desmond King signing was a steal at the time, upgrading to a younger player with so much potential is an attractive option for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Adding Darius Rush to a draft class of Broderick Jones, Joey Porter Jr., Darnell Washington and Keeanu Benton seems to be a wise move by GM Omak Khan.