The Steelers struck gold! Devin Bush is indeed a Steeler for only a 20th overall, 52nd overall, and a 2020 3rd, and do not bat your eye at the fact that they will gain a 3rd back from losing Le’Veon Bell this offseason. However, what can Bush bring right now, from day one, from the moment the Steelers take the field and duel with Tom Brady (who Bush said he really wanted to face, by the way). When the Steelers are talking about fixing the ILB position, they meant they needed a guy who would bring the impact right away and allow the Steelers to take advantage of the three year window they have with Ben Roethlisberger still on the team. That is the utmost of their goals right now.
Good news, friends, Devin Bush is going to do that right now. Bush was my top rated ILB in this draft above Devin White, so, this is in my opinion, even sweeter. Bush is a guy who flies around, hits hard, and can still be a really, really solid coverage ILB. This the MACK ILB the Steelers have been looking for since Ryan Shazier went down with his devastating back injury. It is without a doubt that Bush will come in and be the most impactful rookie the Steelers have since he should start right away.
The real value with Bush? It comes in the form of his elite instincts. Bush reads keys better than any other ILB in this draft aside from Auburn’s Deshaun Davis, who is not nearly the athlete that Bush is naturally. And while Bush has the high floor already, he can still grow as a tackler, finding the ball better in coverage, and overall carrying guys up and down the seam. In year one, that means Bush is already a guy who can change your defense in a lot of ways.
Even if he doesn’t start right away since the Steelers do love to really let their guys sit and learn for a bit, Bush will be an excellent addition to a special teams unit that needs sure tackling and athleticism. Even if he doesn’t start, though, you’re getting a sub-package guy who is the best coverage LB on the team without a doubt.
Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin made it clear that this was their guy and it was the guy they needed to fill the need. While Tomlin said he’d “start at at some point in time”, I think he trots our there week one as the starting MACK next to Vince Williams and they just go for it. You won’t have to wait on this guy to develop like you did for Terrell Edmunds, Artie Burns, or even to some extent, T.J. Watt. He’s a plug and play guy who can take on roles in sub-packages, special teams, and will be a three-down guy.
Overall, Devin Bush is a day one starter and impact player that opens up the defensive playbook with far more schematic options than the Steelers had last year, even with L.J. Fort. They no longer have to just drop a safety back into the Tampa 2 middle, for example, they can disguise it and drop Bush back there, he is that quick and fast. Look out for Bush to be a huge contributor this year.