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Steelers Trade up for Devin Bush Blasted by Analysts

The Pittsburgh Steelers past trade up for Devin Bush was absolutely shelled by ESPn analysts about what not to do.



Steelers ILB Devin Bush
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Devin Bush in a preseason game on Aug. 21, 2021. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Former Pittsburgh Steelers and now Browns linebacker Devin Bush is looked back as one of the biggest failures in recent seasons for the team. It’s not just because he was the normal first round bust, but that the Steelers ended up giving up significant draft capital for him as they jumped up ten spots.

Bush, 25, was the Steelers’ first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft when the team traded up with the Denver Broncos to select him out of Michigan with the No. 10 overall selection. He never lived up to the billing of that draft pick in four seasons in Pittsburgh. Bush started 15 games in a promising rookie season in 2019, but he never recovered his form after an ACL injury caused him to miss most of the 2020 season.

ESPN analyst Seth Walder used the Bush trade as a classic example of what not to do, especially at a non-premium position like an off-ball linebacker.

“The Steelers made a pricey trade-up with a 64% premium, throwing away the equivalent of a fringe first-round pick if we don’t discount the future pick (and a second-round pick even if we do),” Walder wrote. “Pittsburgh had a little surplus of picks, but by trading up inefficiently it let someone else reap the reward.”

The Steelers put significant effort into getting Bush into a better place in 2022. The signing of free-agent inside linebacker and NFL veteran Myles Jack was done at least in part to try to provide a leader for the position group. The Steelers also hired former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores to work with their linebackers. But it never clicked and he went to the Seattle Seahawks this past offseason and will now hit free agency once again after playing for Pete Carroll.

Bush’s one season in Seattle was below the line. He struggled to get on the field, and when he did, it was dreadful. Carroll was fired after the season and Mike Macdonald is the new head coach in Seattle, so the new regime must of not been impressed with Bush.

Bush started just three games in Seattle. The Steelers rushed for 202 yards in their Week 17 win over Seattle, and a good amount of those yards came in Bush’s direction. The Steelers made sure to run right at him.

Bush is an undersized linebacker that struggles to get off blocks. It was an issue in Pittsburgh, and it popped up in Seattle, as well. That part of Bush’s game may never get corrected. But, perhaps he could resurrect his career in Cleveland if they chose to sign him.

Bush’s dad, Devin Bush Sr., was a safety for the Browns from 2001-2002.