Arquon Bush needed just three minutes to make his mark on a game this past season.
In a battle between American Athletic Conference opponents, the Cincinnati cornerback was lined up across from Rashee Rice, an SMU wide receiver and another NFL Draft hopeful, on third down and 12.
When Rice began his route, Bush didn’t backpedal too much. He anticipated a break in the route was coming soon, and he was right.
Rice ran a hitch route near the line to gain, and Bush seemingly began sprinting forward before the ball was even in the air. Bush picked the pass off and returned it to SMU’s 10-yard line.
Bush is a talented defensive back who makes life difficult for quarterbacks.
Arquon Bush Stats And Highlights
Bush’s career at Cincinnati is considered one of the best the program has ever seen for a defensive back.
Bush finished his time as a Bearcat with 31 passes defended, which is sixth in the school record books, and nine interceptions, which is seventh. He also blocked three kicks to tie a school record.
Bush played nickelback in 2020 and 2021 before moving to cornerback last season. Though he dealt with injuries, he was still an All-AAC honorable mention in 2022 after recording 34 tackles, two picks, six pass breakups, and a forced fumble.
Bush concluded his career with 115 tackles in 49 contests. After his final collegiate game, Bush earned invites to the NFL Combine and the East-West Shrine Bowl.
Arquon Bush Draft Projection
Bush seems to be likely drafted in the fifth round. Some believe he could be selected earlier in the fourth round while others have given him a seventh-round grade.
Arquon Bush Draft Profile
Bush, at 6-foot, 187 pounds, has the size to defend plenty of NFL wide receivers in one-on-one coverage.
As evidenced by his career stats, Bush has a knack for taking the ball away. With his combination of size and speed, throwing windows for NFL quarterbacks will be tough to find.
At the NFL Combine, Bush ran a 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds with a 1.55-second 10-yard split. He also had a vertical jump of 33.5 inches and a broad jump of 9 feet, 7 inches.
Bush is also physical. He doesn’t shy away from tackling running backs. And whether it’s while defending the run or in the passing game, he tracks down the football in a hurry.
Bush was inconsistent though. On 72 targets his way last season, he allowed 39 catches for a reception rate of 54.2% in 2022, according to Pro Football Focus.
Those mistakes could be cleaned up with NFL coaching, however. Bush clearly has the desire and the instincts to perform at a high level. He’s worth the investment of a Day 3 pick.