Can the Steelers find a sleeper in Darius Rush
While I am not including the Steelers actual draft class in this post, I made an exception for Darius Rush. While a rookie, he wasn’t drafted by the team and has already bounced around a few rosters so far in his career. That said, he has everything the Steelers want in an outside cornerback and could figure into a defensive role next year.
Rush was a talented cornerback prospect in a deep group during this past draft. While Cam Smith was the more hyped prospect from South Carolina, Rush fits the mold of a new-age outside cornerback. The deep draft caused him to fall to day three, but the talent certainly was there.
He bounced around some practice squads earlier this year, but the Steelers opted to bring him on in place of Desmond King. He saw snaps early but has mostly been inactive this season. That makes judging him hard, as there won’t be a surplus of tape on him by year's end.
Pittsburgh will have a lot of cornerback questions heading into 2024 though. Joey Porter will be locked in as a starter, but the rest of the room is a question mark. Levi Wallace and James Pierre should both be gone, and Patrick Peterson is no lock to be around either. This could leave the door open for Rush to jump up the depth chart in year two.
The team will certainly add to the room in the offseason, but if Porter is the only holdover in the room, Rush should have an advantage next year. Fellow rookie Corey Trice will be returning from an injury, so he could even leap him on the depth chart. Rush could see a considerable jump in playing time in the new year.