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NFL: MAY 06 Colts Minicamp

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INDIANAPOLISIf it weren’t No. 29 JuJu Brents presence, it would be No. 30 Darius Rush standing out more than any other Colts cornerback.

You go on the Colts practice field and it’s hard not to notice the length Rush brings to the cornerback position.

Rush stands 6-2, weighs 198 pounds, has a wingspan of 33 3/8 inches, which ranks up there with any corner drafted in recent years.

It’s not surprising to see Rush with a wide receiver background, given those measureables.

He converted from wideout to cornerback at South Carolina, and started 21 games over his final two seasons in the SEC.

Questions about Rush’s prowess as a tackler and taking the ball away are some of the reservations that had him lasting until Round 5.

Still, the Colts were surprised to see him there nearing the mid-way point of Day 3.

“Darius Rush, we really liked,” Chris Ballard said after drafting Rush. “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. He’s kind of a guy that we had even talked about taking him in the fourth (round).”

With luck on his side, Rush has already benefitted from opportunity early in his NFL career.

He was drafted into a cornerback room desperately searching for short, and long, term answers.

JuJu Brents, a fellow drafted cornerback who was taken 3 rounds before Rush, missed the entire spring offseason program recovering from a wrist injury.

And then in June it was found out Isaiah Rodgers Sr. violated the NFL’s gambling policy, removing a player (for now) from the corner depth chart, who started 9 games last year.

Early in spring, Rush did take advantage of some of those opportunities, impressing the staff with his play. But a hamstring injury ended up sidelining Rush for the final three weeks of the offseason program, stunting how big of a chance he was in line to receive.

Given Rush’s traits, SEC background and youth at the corner position, he was always an intriguing selection, with many believing he would be drafted earlier than Round 5.

Rush still has a golden opportunity to be one of the rare Day 3 picks to impact from the start of his rookie career.

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