Arquon Bush, CB, Cincinnati | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Part of the deepest positional group in the 2023 NFL Draft, what does the scouting report for Cincinnati CB Arquon Bush suggest for his draft projection?

The 2023 NFL Draft cornerback class is as loaded as it gets for a single position, and one of the players expected to hear his name called on Day 2 or Day 3 is Cincinnati Bearcats CB Arquon Bush. While most of the conversation has been focused on the top names in the class, what does Bush’s scouting report suggest about his NFL draft stock?

Arquon Bush NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Cornerback
  • School: Cincinnati
  • Year: Redshirt Senior

The 2023 NFL Draft is loaded at cornerback this year. We’ve seen several productive corners come into the league in the last few years, including from the University of Cincinnati. Joining that list and hoping to become an integral part of an NFL defense is Bush.

Bush was a two-way player at Euclid High School in Cleveland. Earning a three-star ranking, Bush was listed as the top cornerback in Ohio by 247 Sports. Despite offers from Kentucky, Michigan State, Purdue, and Rutgers, Bush opted to stay in his home state and play with the Bearcats.

Bush redshirted his freshman season but did play in four games in 2018 while making his debut against Alabama A&M. His first real action would come in 2019, playing in 10 games while making five starts. However, Bush did miss the first four games while recovering due to an injury he sustained in 2018, which also caused him to miss spring football.

2020 was a strong year for Bush as he moved into the nickel back role and made seven starts in his nine games while recording 21 tackles, two interceptions, three pass breakups, and four tackles for loss. Bush saved his best for last and recorded a season-best four tackles in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl against Georgia.

MORE: 100% Free Mock Draft Simulator

Yet, the 2021 season was a breakthrough for the Bearcats. Cincinnati’s offense, led by Desmond Ridder, and their defense by their cornerback room of Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, 2021 Jim Thorpe Award Winner Coby Bryant, and Bush, helped to lead the team to the promised land and, eventually, a matchup against No. 1 Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinals.

Not only did Cincy go undefeated on their journey, but they became the first non-Power Five school to make it to the College Football Playoff. With Gardner and Bryant locking down the outside, Bush manned the nickel, making 11 starts in 13 games. He recorded 42 tackles with three interceptions and six pass breakups, but also tied for the lead in the nation with two blocked kicks, doing so in consecutive weeks against SMU and East Carolina.

2022 saw a significant change in role for Bush as he moved from being the nickel corner and moved to the perimeter, playing over 600 snaps out wide. Although injuries were a consistent factor for Bush, he didn’t let it bother him as he started all 13 games and wrapped up his career as one of the most prolific CBs in Cincy history, finishing seventh in school history with nine interceptions and sixth with 31 passes defensed.

Bush’s three career blocks also tied a school record. He tallied 115 tackles in his 49 games and allowed only a 54.4% reception percentage on his 226 targets.

A participant in the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl, Bush has been on the mind of team scouts given his good size at 6’0″ and 187 pounds and above-average athleticism. Given that nickel has essentially turned into the default personnel grouping for defenses, a player like Bush could end up with surprisingly high draft capital so long as the scouting report matches the potential upside.

Arquon Bush Scouting Report

Strengths: Explosive and physical corner with average size. Aggressive, mixes it up with receivers throughout the route, and stays on the opponent’s hip out of breaks. Shows a burst to the ball, can drive out of his plant, and has a nice move to the throw. Tracks the pass in the air and effectively times pass defenses.

Fights and physically beats down opponents to defend passes. Often placed over the opponent’s best receiver, does not back down from a challenge, and remains disciplined with assignments.

Weaknesses: Possesses poor hands for the interception and has a lot of throws slip through. Slowed by blocks and average arm length.

Overall: Bush was a productive cornerback at Cincinnati, who broke up a lot of passes as both a nickel back and the No. 1 at the position. He has a lanky frame that he must fill out, but Bush possesses solid ball skills and showed a lot of improvement in his game last season.

Arquon Bush Combine Measurements and Results

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 187 pounds
  • Wingspan: 73″
  • Arm Length: 29 7/8″
  • Hand Size: 9 1/4″
  • Bench Press: DNP
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.54
  • Vertical Jump: 33 1/2″

Cincinnati CB Arquon Bush Current Draft Projection

You can never have enough cornerbacks in the NFL. There is too much talent at wide receiver, and there’s too much pressure placed on the secondary to allow the position to become an area of weakness.

If you need a cornerback or two, 2023 is a blessing, given the vast number of potential superstars sitting on big boards. Although Bush doesn’t quite make that level, there will always be a need for twitchy players with good ball instincts that can play both a bit of man and zone.

MORE: When Is the 2023 NFL Draft?

According to Tony Pauline’s Big Board, Bush is the CB19 and the No. 132 overall-ranked player for the 2023 NFL Draft. Combined with his scouting profile and a 3.5 grade, Bush’s current draft projection is somewhere in the fourth round.

Likely someone who starts off in more of a reserve role or a starter on special teams, even if he’s not the next DROY like his former teammate, Bush has a skill set that could allow him to have a long and successful career in the NFL.

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.

Related Articles