Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Profile: Devin Bush

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Oakland Raiders Draft Prospect LB Devin Bush
ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 17: Michigan Wolverines linebacker Devin Bush (10) plays defense during a game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Michigan Wolverines (4) on November 17, 2018 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers Defense Needs Devin Bush and His Nasty Disposition

Devin Bush is the perfect player the Pittsburgh Steelers need to add life to their improving defense. Not only is he a guy who fills a position of need, but he does so with a nasty disposition and a genuine dislike for ball carriers. Bush is a natural leader who’s three down capable and plays with surprising athleticism. But most importantly perhaps, he has a high football I.Q. and is a natural at getting teammates in the right position to make plays. Bush may not possess the flashiness of a Ryan Shazier, but his play does bring to mind former Steelers linebacker Levon Kirkland.

Bio

  • 5’11″/233 lbs
  • Son of former NFL defensive back Devin Bush Sr.
  • 2018 consensus All-American,┬áBronko Nagurski and Butkus Award finalist
  • 2018 Big Ten Woodson-Nagurski Defensive Player of the Year, Sporting News First Team All-American, American Football Coaches Association First Team All-American
  • 2017-2018 Academic All-Big Ten Honoree

Strengths

Bush is considered by some to be a little undersized, but with him, it’s never been an issue. Instead, he’s turned a perceived weakness into an advantage. Bush skillfully uses taller defensive lineman in front of him as camouflage to seek and destroy unsuspecting ball carriers. His speed allows him to make plays from sideline to sideline, while his athleticism makes him an asset in coverage.

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Bush is an explosive blitzer who comes in low and fast, making it hard to knock him off target. All told, Bush is the total package. The Steelers would be able to plug him in and immediately upgrade the second level of their defense in all facets.

Weaknesses

Bush does a lot of things well, but he does have some minor weaknesses that can be overcome with good coaching. In run defense, Bush can sometimes be a bit overaggressive chasing the big hit, opening up cut-back lanes for the back to escape. He needs to stay within himself and keep the play in front of him.

Bush sometimes has difficulties in coverage, especially in man coverage. He tends to get a bit grabby at times when matched up against faster running backs and tight ends. He needs to become more fluid in his hips because he loses even more ground changing directions to match the receiver’s route.

Three Year Statistics at Michigan

Bush is ready for the NFL, but it wouldn’t have hurt him to stay at Michigan another year to refine his skills. Either way, he put up some impressive numbers during his stay in Ann Arbor.

  • Tackles – 172
  • Tackles For Loss – 18.5
  • Sacks – 10
  • Passes Defended – 11
  • Interceptions – 1

The Bottom line

The Pittsburgh Steelers need a playmaking inside linebacker. Bush is a great fit. He’s a solid tackler, communicator, and is blessed with a football I.Q. His most endearing quality is the nastiness he brings to the field. Bush plays like Kirkland and hits like Greg Lloyd. Many have him rated as the second-best inside linebacker in the draft behind Devin White. If the Steelers take Bush at 20, he’ll be the best inside linebacker on the roster.

 

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