The Steelers traded up to the 10th overall pick in the NFL Draft. After taking Devin Bush, this team is continuing to head in the right direction.
Most of Steelers Nation was calling for it. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported it. It’s only the third time since 2003 the Steelers have traded up in the first round, but the Steelers did it again Thursday night to take Michigan product Devin Bush.
Also like most, including yours truly, a trade-up was met with skepticism. After all, the Steelers just don’t do it that often. Last year’s draft was an opportunity for them to move up to address the hole at inside linebacker, but the trigger was never pulled.
The difference between 2018 and 2019 was simply flexibility. With the return on the Antonio Brown trade, which included an the 2nd pick in the 3rd round, it gave general manager Kevin Colbert the option to potentially forfeit their 2nd round pick to try to move up. And that’s exactly what happened.
In order to move up to Denver’s 10th overall pick, the Steelers gave the Broncos their 20th overall pick, their 2019 2nd round pick, and their 2020 3rd round pick. If that sounds like a lot, it’s not. As stated before, the Steelers still have two picks Friday night, both in the 3rd round. They also are expecting a compensatory 3rd round pick in 2020 for the departure of Le’Veon Bell in free agency this offseason. The two picks the truly gave up already had contingency plans.
With that 10th overall pick, the Steelers acquired one of the best defensive players in the draft, and at the greatest position of need on the team. Devin Bush brings elite athleticism, speed, and tackling to the inside linebacker position. Now, the former Michigan Wolverine has yet to play a snap on an NFL field, but he has all the makings of a legitimate inside linebacker in the modern NFL. Read more about Devin Bush here.
Add this draft pick with the offseason signing of Mark Barron, and now a position that was an albatross in 2018 now has good depth with four players that can play.
Ladies and gentlemen, savor this moment. This one move doesn’t save the Pittsburgh Steelers. They still might not be quite good enough to win a Super Bowl in 2019. But they are definitely heading in the right direction.
Making this bold of a move in the 1st round of the draft tells all of us that the Steelers are committed to addressing the biggest needs of this team with potentially great players. The Steelers failed at addressing inside linebacker in 2018. And now, they’ve passed with flying colors in 2019.
Believe it or not, the Steelers have had a successful offseason. They traded away the biggest noise of the locker room. They addressed positions of need with quality players in free agency. And now they’ve drafted a potential mainstay at inside linebacker.
Forget all the media noise that’s surrounded the Steelers this offseason. This team is heading in the right direction. Trading up for Devin Bush is only more living proof of that.