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Steelers Deal to Get Up to the 10th Pick, Take ILB Devin Bush to Help Out The D

The Steelers have been looking to fill the void left with the injury to Ryan Shazier two years ago, and finally Thursday night they did that.

The team pulled off a stunner, moving up to the 10th pick to take the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year, inside linebacker Devin Bush from Michigan.

Here’s a scouting report on Bush:

Strengths:

Extremely fast
Dynamic sideline-to-sideline speed
Good build
Superb pursuit defender
Works through trash
Tremendous closing speed
Athletic
Can contribute in coverage on backs, tight ends and receivers
Covers a lot of ground in zone coverage
Can break down in space
Dangerous blitzer
Open-field tackler

Weaknesses:

Average instincts
Takes false steps in coverage
Overpursuit
Not a standout in-the-box run defender
Can get pushed back defending runs coming downhill

Summary: With the NFL becoming a passing-driven league, pro teams need linebackers who are fast athletes and capable of contributing to pass coverage. Bush is that kind of linebacker, and he gave perfect proof with a stellar NFL Scouting Combine highlighted by a 4.43-second time in the 40-yard dash. Bush has a skill set that is coveted throughout the NFL.

Bush’s sophomore season was his best, and he totaled 101 tackles with five sacks, eight passes broken up and an interception. In 2018, Bush recorded 78 tackles with five sacks, nine tackles for a loss, six passes broken up and five sacks.

For the NFL, Bush is a seek-and-destroy linebacker. His best trait is world-class speed for a 5-foot-11, 234-pound linebacker. Bush can flat out fly while patrolling sideline to sideline and has the ability to cover a ton of ground. He displays easy speed to close on ball-carriers or receivers running into open territory. On top of his speed, Bush is an agile athlete who can break down in space and get backs to the ground. He is a steady open-field tackler and also will flash some violence, as he throws ball-carriers to the ground with authority. Bush also does a nice job of going for the strip when making a tackle.

As a run defender, Bush is at his best using speed to chase down ball-carriers. He has issues with holding his ground and taking on blocks, so he is not a skilled in-the-box run defender. That is one reason why his tackle total was depressed despite having played in a running conference. Offensive linemen are able to get a push on him and knock him back. Bush will sometimes try to run around blocks, but generally he is pretty good at holding his gap. Bush does very well defending perimeter runs and is quick to blast into the backfield when he sees a stretch play developing. He is aggressive and can be susceptible to overpursue. Bush also has average instincts that are moderately disappointing.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Dave B.

    April 26, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    What do ya know ? The Steelers finally woke up and realized that this is 2019 , not 1979 . Trading up and getting Devin Bush was a huge move that pretty much guarantees them a playoff spot , barring some type of major injury . This kid is plug and play and let him learn on the fly . He may make a mistake every now and then as all rookies do , but it will be well worth it . The Steelers by all accounts , should have a top 10 defense in 2019 . Way to go Pittsburgh !

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