The Pittsburgh Steelers made it abundantly clear to Devin Bush throughout the pre-draft process how much they loved his game and his makeup. So much so that when he saw that a trade was being made, he knew immediately to look at his phone, because a 412 number was about to ring him up.
It’s been all love since then in a whirlwind 24 hours since the Steelers drafted him with the 10th-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft after the team traded up 10 spots to go get him. President Art Rooney II even called it “the worst-kept secret” in the draft about what they were going to try to do.
“I Just felt the love right off the bat, getting to ride around the city and see the stadium when I came through the tunnel”, Bush said at the start of his introductory press conference earlier this evening. “It really opened my eyes up, put a smile on my face. Just throughout the whole building, everybody here wants to be winning. Everybody here is family-oriented. They want the best for each other. And meeting all these guys here, it just displays it again. They’re all for each other. They work well together. It’s a great organization”.
The Steelers have even been documenting bits and pieces of his day, sharing or retweeting videos of his arrival into Pittsburgh at the airport, where a large gathering of fans awaited him at the gate. In another video, he is seen crossing over one of the city’s many bridges, getting his first glimpse of Heinz Field since being drafted.
While the Steelers and their fans always roll out the red carpet for their first-round draft picks, Bush is an even rare case. He is the first top-10 selection they have made since Plaxico Burress in 2000, and the first player they have traded up for in the first round since Santonio Holmes in 2006. The expectations are high, but he embraces them. and his teammates are already embracing him as well.
“Ryan Shazier reached out to me. Vince Williams reached out to me”, he told reporters during his press conference earlier today. “They just put me in the chat. T.J. Watt, spoke to him. They were telling me ‘welcome to the family, can’t wait to work with you’”.
Bush is the seventh defensive player the Steelers have drafted in the past seven years, and the fifth linebacker. Shazier and Watt are two of the other ones. Jarvis Jones, the first in the line in 2013, is no longer on the team, or in the league, but Bud Dupree, their 2015 first-round pick, is still there. If Bush starts, Pittsburgh will field three first-round picks at linebacker in addition to Williams.
Of course it’s all love now, as everything is in the expectations and potentiality phase. But very shortly it will be time for work to begin. Bush’s first task is showing the coaching staff they can trust him to be on the field.