The Indianapolis Colts made work with their four fifth round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, selecting South Carolina cornerback Darius Rush (#138), California safety Daniel Scott (#158), Miami tight end Will Mallory (#162), and Northwestern running back Evan Hull (#176).
Darius Rush, CB South Carolina (Pick #138)
First, regarding Rush, the 6’2”, 198 pound redshirt senior cornerback (with 33 3’8” arms) recorded 38 tackles (28 solo), 2 tackles for losses, 2 interceptions, 7 passes defensed, and a forced fumble during 10 starts for the Gamecocks in 2022.
With a RAS of 9.81 out of a maximum of 10.0, Rush is another big, long armed cornerback, but he’s a bit faster than fellow rookie Julius Brents, who went earlier in the second round to Indianapolis, because Rush runs a 4.36 forty time.
He also possesses solid ball skills and is a willing run defender.
Rush began at South Carolina at wideout before converting to cornerback. Given that the Colts are young at the position, he could contribute immediately along the outside:
The Colts are crushing the draft. To get South Carolina CB Darius Rush in this spot is crazy good value. The pairing of Rush and Brents is awesome for the future of their secondary.— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) April 29, 2023
RD 5 | PK 138 - Colts: Darius Rush CB, South Carolina— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) April 29, 2023
The Colts continue their trend of targeting high-end athletes; Rush is their sixth player in as many picks to earn at least a 75 athleticism score (82). https://t.co/4QR9o4aDwv pic.twitter.com/2wLXTwnw7A
Daniel Scott, Safety Cal (Pick #158)
Next up is the 6’1, 208 pound safety Daniel Scott (with 30 1/4” arms), who recorded 85 tackles (57 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 4 passes defensed, and 2 forced fumbles during 12 starts. He had a RAS of 9.80
Scott tested out really well at the NFL Combine and has experience playing in the box as a physical run defender, but has versatility all over the field. He should contribute immediately on special teams and be a key contributor next season.
Scott joins a young Colts safety group that include Julian Blackmon, Rodney Thomas II, and Nick Cross—but with Blackmon as a free agent at next season’s end, it’s possible he could play a bigger role down the road looking ahead to 2024.
The #Eagles had a zoom interview with versatile #Cal Safety Daniel Scott, who has played single high, as a nickel, all over the defensive secondary.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) April 24, 2023
Has really excelled in the pre-draft process testing wise, but the tape matches too.pic.twitter.com/0aTMCfnHPn https://t.co/Wk9SuWB5Kl
Will Mallory, TE Miami (Fla.) (Pick #162)
The 6’4 1/4”, 239 pound senior tight end for the Hurricanes caught 42 receptions for 538 receiving yards and 3 touchdown receptions during 12 starts in 2022—earning 2nd-Team All-ACC honors.
He’s another highly athletic prospect selected by the Colts with a RAS of 9.05.
Mallory profiles as a ‘move’ tight end with high-end athleticism, polished route running, and surprising long speed, but will need to improve his blocking and physicality at the next level to see an extended role:
Miami’s Will Mallory has the fastest forty time (4.54) of any TE in the draft. His father coached Jeremy Shockey and Jimmy Graham on the Saints. Mallory is a seam stretcher who could be effective if utilized properly in the NFL. #canesfootball pic.twitter.com/k8k6XM53Jt— Kyle Lindemann (@LuckIsMadeFF) April 26, 2023
I love Will Mallory pick at this point in the draft. He might just be a WR, but he can scoot and has some strong post-catch plays.— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) April 29, 2023
Evan Hull, RB Northwestern (Pick #176)
The 5’10”, 209 pound running back had 221 carries for 913 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns, as well as amassed 55 receptions for 546 receiving yards and 2 touchdown receptions during 12 games for the Wildcats in 2022.
Behind Colts bellcow Jonathan Taylor, Hull projects as a pass catching back. He’s a very compact rusher, showing good compact balance, who can run downhill and be sometimes slippery after the catch. He has a RAS of 9.32 out of a maximum of 10.0:
Evan Hull to the Colts!— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) April 29, 2023
Liked Hull as a Day 3 option for a passing down RB. Smart player that's good in protection and with good hands as a receiver with a feel on Screen plays.
Does not play to his testing numbers, but solid vision as a runner. A nice complementary player.