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Steelers Sign Tall, Fast Rookie Cornerback



Steelers CB Darius Rush
South Carolina takes on Texas A&M in SEC football action at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday, October 22, 2022 in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Pittsburgh Steelers plan to sign cornerback Darius Rush from the practice squad of the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a report by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Rush, 23, will be on his third NFL franchise as a pro in just a few months. The South Carolina alum was selected in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. However, he did not last long there. 

The Colts waived Rush in their final round of cuts, and the Chiefs claimed him. Kansas City then waived him on Sept. 16 and added him to their practice squad.  After releasing veteran inside and outside cornerback Desmond King, the Steelers have a vacant roster spot.

A 6-foot-2, 198-pound defensive back, Rush projects to play mainly on the outside for the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s backup nickel cornerback is likely Elijah Riley if Chandon Sullivan should suffer an injury. 

A South Carolina native, Rush played for his home state, Gamecocks, first as a wide receiver before moving to cornerback. He played in 43 games at South Carolina and made 21 starts. 

Rush first became a starter as a redshirt junior in 2021. He finished that season with 26 tackles, one for a loss, one interception, and eight passes defended.

As a redshirt senior in 2022, he had 38 tackles, two for a loss, two interceptions and seven passes defended. In addition to playing on the outside, Rush has significant special teams experience, racking up 15 tackles at South Carolina as a gunner in his first three seasons there. 

Rush combined his above-average size with excellent speed in pre-draft testing. He ran a 4.3-second 40-yard dash and posted an overall 9.8 relative athletic score.

The Steelers adding Rush and cutting King suggests they plan to use veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson in the slot more going forward. The only slot corners they have on the roster now are Chandon Sullivan and Elijah Riley. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has also played in the slot a good bit this season.