The Pittsburgh Steelers selected linebacker Devin Bush with their 10th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Bush came into the league with high expectations since he was one of the top players drafted at his position in the 2019 draft. Bush was named the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year while leading one of college football's top defenses back in 2018.
Bush was a big reason why the Steelers' defense had a huge jump from what they were at last season. The Steelers defense is why they were even in the hunt for a Wild Card playoff seed, despite having numerous injuries on the offensive side. Bush appeared in all 16 games for the Steelers while playing a majority of the snaps on defense each game.
Bush recently became the Steelers' first rookie with over 100 tackles in his first year since the stat became official in 2001. Bush recorded 109 total tackles during the 16 games he played in with 72 solo and 37 assisted. That is very impressive considering that it's his first year in the NFL and first year getting adjusted to the Steelers defensive schemes. He also recorded two interceptions as well as four fumble recoveries with one of them being a touchdown.
When Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked by a reporter who he compares Devin Bush to, he had an interesting response.
“Really it was a kind of reminiscent of Ryan Shazier’s performance in his first game a number of years ago in terms of production and getting around and making a number of plays.”
Ryan Shazier is Pittsburgh's Pro Bowl inside linebacker who sat out his second consecutive season following his major back injury in December of 2017. Although he can't play, Shazier has been a mentor for Bush and the Steelers. Bush and Shazier have developed a close bond over the course of the season.
Throughout the season, Bush was named to numerous top 10 defensive rookie rankings picked out by the NFL network. At the beginning of the season, one of Bush's goals was to win the league's Defensive Player of the Year award. He may not win that award this year, but he has certainly proven that he has the potential to win one in the near future.
The entire Steelers' organization should certainly be delighted about how well Bush played in his first year in the NFL.
Devin Bush's 2019 NFL Season Grade: A+