PITTSBURGH — The first round of the NFL Draft included a rare move by the Steelers. Pittsburgh was scheduled to get the 20th pick in the opening round, but traded up to select Michigan linebacker Devin Bush with the 10th overall pick.
It's a bold move that gives the Steelers the player they hope can fill the position of the injured Ryan Shazier.
The Steelers had their eye on Bush for some time, and in a conference call with the Pittsburgh media a short time after being drafted, Bush was ecstatic.
“Feels great, I’m loving the moment right now, being able to put on the Black and Gold, being able to go out there and play for the Steelers means everything to me.”
It appears to be a perfect match. Bush is a tremendous talent who fills a huge need.
“I think I’m a good fit because I love to win,” Bush said. “This team wants to win and I’m a guy who loves to win.”
Bush, a 5-foot-11, 234-pound junior, totaled 172 tackles during a three-year career at Michigan. A consensus All-American in 2018, Bush finished with 10 sacks, one interception, and 11 pass breakups. He was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski and Butkus Awards in 2018. He was also a finalist for the Butkus Award in 2017 as the nation's top linebacker.
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Bush says the Steelers never mentioned Shazier, and he was careful not to draw any comparisons.
“I feel like Ryan Shazier was a great player, still is and hope to see him soon and wish him the best in his recovery, and he's gonna do well. I know he has the heart and will to be back. I'm ready to be Devin Bush. I'm not trying to compare myself to anyone else.”
This is Pittsburgh's first top-10 pick since 2000, when the Steelers selected Plaxico Burress at No. 8 overall. Pittsburgh has used its first-round pick on a defensive player each of the last seven years.
The last time the Steelers moved up in the first round was 2006, when they picked wide receiver Santonio Holmes. In 2003, Pittsburgh moved the Steelers from 27th overall to No. 16 to select four-time All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu.
"Mean" Joe Greene, the Steelers' No. 1 pick in 1969, announced Pittsburgh's first-round selection. The Steelers still have eight picks remaining, including two third-rounders.
Their next pick, No. 66 overall, is the third-rounder acquired for star receiver Antonio Brown, the the only player in NFL history with six straight 100-catch seasons, who was traded to the Oakland Raiders.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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