When I first heard about Marcus Rush I was watching tape on Shilique Calhoun, who was just doing absolutely nothing impressive and I was about to stop watching him completely after the 2nd video, but the only reason I didn't stop watching though was because of the guy on the other side, Marcus Rush. Marcus Rush came to Michigan State and started a school record 53 games at defensive end. Rush was not invited to the combine but it did not matter as he impressed scouts and coaches at his pro day. The numbers do not do him enough justice, and good luck trying to find a highlight video of him on youtube or even a video focusing on him on draft breakdown.
Ladies and gentleman let's get to it.......
Marcus Rush DE/OLB Michigan State 6''2, 247 LBS
2014 stats: 37 tackles, 10.5 for loss, 7.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 3 passes batted
Pro Day Results
40 yard dash: 4.68
3 cone drill: 6.73
Bench press: 24 reps
Vertical jump: 34 inch
Broad jump: 9-9
Marcus Rush is a very intelligent edge rusher who has shown the ability to absolutely destroy tackles around the edge, he specializes with the rip move as he shows great bend and ankle flexibility around the edge along with great leverage and the ability to stay low, something that's very rare with college prospects. He also can effectively shed blocks and does a great job of holding the edge and does not allow many big runs his way, he follows his assignments very well. He is an effective tackler, rarely missing on his opportunities to tackle the QB or designated runners. Something else I noticed was that he uses his hands extremely well, and does a good job of swatting the O lineman or Tight ends arms down. He generally shows good counter moves and doesn't just rely on the rip, as he can use a spin or swim move as well, which is something you probably see from a 1st round prospect.
This play is just a great demonstration of what he can do with his rip move, the tackle takes him on early and he still get's underneath the tackle uses one arm instead of two and he get's to Mariota for the sack. First off when I first saw this play I immediately thought to myself that looked like James Harrison ripping through, the ability to keep his balance, stay low with such bend was impressive.
This play he's going up against Donovan Smith, who is a top prospect in the draft and he once again uses his rip move and the tackle is completely off balance and there was no chance of him stopping Rush. This shows that he can do these things even if it is against good talent, one that did very well against Randy Gregory and that's a good sign because if he's doing this now, imagine what he could do if he's coached up right..... Scary thought. NOTE, I edited this play in because I found it and thought this would be a good demonstration to show he can do this against top talent.
This play demonstrates that Rush doesn't just win with the rip as he get's a decent get off at the snap and he recognizes the tackle has the outside contained but there is absolutely nothing but open space on the inside and he spins very quickly to the inside and causes Barrett to throw the ball quickly, while it was completed there was a penalty on the play for illegal use of hands to the face and it did not count but still you see what kind of edge rusher Rush is.
I normally never use plays on Tight Ends for edge rushers but for this play Rush ends up getting doubled by both the Tight End and Running Back, what does he do, he hesitates for a sec then he swims to the outside and swims inside on Ameer and he creates pressure and if he doesn't lose his balance he may have a sack. He absolutely harassed Nebraska all game and I will make sure to put the video underneath so you can see for yourself (ignore the fact the video is about Trae Waynes).
Marcus Rush like I said is an excellent edge rusher however he can not do much from the inside as he doesn't seem to convert speed into power and he just basically get's stoned, he had basically no success rushing from the inside. In terms of converting speed into power he does not do it on a bull rush very well, he get's stoned at the point of attack and can't seem to get much of a push. He does not have the fastest first step but it's definitely not bad, I wouldn't say it's a positive or a negative. He was never really asked to drop back in coverage at Michigan State, so he will be relatively new at it, if he indeed becomes a 3-4 Outside Linebacker.
On this play, Rush stunts to the inside and as I said he get's no push and doesn't counter against the lineman, This seems like something Rush could definitely improve on in the NFL, as long as he get's the right coaching. This isn't the only example of him getting stoned like this, you will notice this throughout the game except for one play where the lineman does not even get his hands on him.
Once again he does not get any push and he is basically rendered useless on this play. The rest of the team causes pressure though but give Rush credit for occupying the blocker on a great blitz by the Inside Linebacker.
Overall Marcus Rush is a very underrated prospect who is flying under the radar by many draft analysts. He shows great bend and balance on the edge and has an arsenal of moves at his disposal. Rush won't give you much push coming from the inside but he can secure the edge well and keeps offensive lineman on their heels when facing him. While he is not very tall or big, he is very smart and will get leverage on the lineman, with the ability to stay low and get underneath their pads. Don't be surprised if his last name is a sign of what his niche will be in the league.
Videos I used for the GIF's
Recommended Article and Video
I highly recommend reading this article on Marcus Rush on what he did at his pro day and what he is doing to prepare for the NFL.
I normally never watch those Google plus breakdown videos that last forever but this one does an excellent job of actually explaining and showing what Rush is doing. It's only 30 minutes and I highly recommend watching it, you will see a breakdown of his game against Penn State and Nebraska.