What national experts are saying about Steelers drafting Devin Bush | TribLIVE.com
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What national experts are saying about Steelers drafting Devin Bush

Tim Benz
Michigan linebacker Devin Bush runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, March 3, 2019, in Indianapolis.
In this Oct. 20, 2018, file photo, Michigan linebacker Devin Bush follows the ball during the first half against Michigan State, in East Lansing, Mich.

I’d give the Steelers an “A-” for their move up into the top 10 to draft Michigan linebacker Devin Bush.

It would’ve been an “A” if general manager Kevin Colbert could’ve talked Denver into his own line of schtick that the 66th pick is really a second-round pick and not a third.

But I’m still impressed, with both the pick and the trade. For “Friday Football Footnotes” this week, let’s see what others had to say.

Sports Illustrated (B): “The Steelers almost never trade up, but in this case, trading up for Bush was an easy decision. The team has had a massive hole at linebacker since Ryan Shazier’s tragic injury, which is extra damaging considering their scheme puts a premium on speed in the middle of the field. With Terrell Edmunds joining as a first-round pick last year, the Steelers can be either a nickel or dime defense, giving them flexibility to adjust to opponents week in and week out. They haven’t had such flexibility since Shazier was last on the field.”

Great. So why not a higher grade? Do you think they gave up too much or something? Are you not as high on Bush as many others are? Or what?

Mel Kiper (ESPN): There was no grade attached here. Kiper simply referred to the Steelers as “a winner” after the trade.

“My pal Louis Riddick called Bush pound-for-pound the best player in this draft. Though I won’t quite go that far, I love this fit, and I love Pittsburgh being aggressive in getting its guy, trading the Nos. 20 and 52 picks plus a third-round pick in next year’s draft to get the sideline-to-sideline linebacker. Bush is going to slot in at the weakest spot on the Steelers’ roster, as the team hasn’t been able to replace the production of Ryan Shazier.”

Dane Brugler (The Athletic): “Since the tragic injury to Ryan Shazier, they haven’t had someone fill that void and Bush can do that. This is reminiscent of 2003 when the Steelers moved up 11 spots for Troy Polamalu.”

I’m gonna go ahead and say that‘s an “A” then.

Luke Easterling (DraftWire-USA Today): Easterling is on board. He told us earlier in the week that he found the difference between Bush and the other Devin (LSU’s Devin White who went at pick No. 6) to be minimal.

“Bush checks off all of the boxes for a linebacker in today’s NFL. He is a superb athlete with great instincts and plays with his hair on fire. His ability to drop into coverage and also come downhill in run defense is unmatched in this class.

He is a high level linebacker prospect who can immediately step in and contribute day one in the NFL. This is an excellent selection.

For the Steelers, taking the chance on Bush could turn out to be quite beneficial. Trading up for a player is always risky but Bush is well worth the investment. He is a tenacious player who should provide a big boost to the defense.”

Daniel Jeremiah (NFL.com): No grade. But it appears he is a fan.

“I think it’s a perfect fit. There are two big-time linebackers and I don’t think there’s a lot of difference between him and Devin White. He has great leadership and great explosion. He’s fast and able to cover well and can also read well and be a good, firm tackler. As a blitzer, offensive linemen will have trouble with his quickness.”

Broncos fans: They are not happy. The Broncos posted video inside the war room when the trade was consummated.

It appears they were unhappy with the decision to trade down.

So if they are mad, then Pittsburgh should probably be thrilled!

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Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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