Devin Bush could be a ‘Shazier-like’ difference maker for Steelers
The Steelers may have found a gem in linebacker Devin Bush. Here’s why the 10th overall pick could make a ‘Shazier-like’ difference for Pittsburgh.
Immediately following the football season, my draft buddies and I throw on college football tape. We scout hundreds of prospects in the months leading up to the NFL Draft. When the Steelers traded up to the 10th overall pick for Devin Bush this past April, I was ecstatic.
Devin Bush was my 7th overall player heading into the 2019 NFL Draft, and I was in the minority of draft analysts who slated Bush higher than LSU linebacker, Devin White, last year. Even with the Steelers trading up 10 spots, I still thought it was a good pick. Bush brings speed and tenacity to the position that we haven’t seen since Ryan Shazier went down with a spinal injury.
The Michigan product has made his share of rookie errors in the passing game and against the run. However, I don’t know if I have ever quite seen a defensive rookie make an impact like he has made over the past three weeks.
Devin Bush has been taken the ball away from the offense 6 times in his first 6 NFL games, as he ranks 1st in fumble recoveries and 7th in interceptions.
Bush is following in the footsteps of another Steelers great: Ryan Shazier. The former two-time Pro Bowl linebacker accounted for 6 interceptions, 5 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries over his last two seasons before suffering a spinal injury that likely ended his football career.
Devin Bush could be on record pace for takeaways as a linebacker, as he is currently earning one per game. Two more interceptions this season would give more than Shazier has ever had in a single year.
What’s most impressive is that the former Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year turned just 21 years old in July. He clearly has a bright future ahead of him.
Bush is currently second in Defensive Rookie of the Year odds behind 2nd overall pick, Nick Bosa. This speaks volumes for the type of season he is starting to put together. It’s true that Ryan Shazier can’t be replaced. But maybe Devin Bush is turning out to be a ‘Shazier-like’ difference-maker on this team.