Devin Bush, Linebacker
School: Michigan | Conference: Big Ten
Experience: Senior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 5-11 / 234 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 1st-2nd Round
NFL Comparison: Bobby Wagner
According to Pro Football Focus, Bush recorded 33 stops and 20 pressures as he finished the season with an overall grade of 85.3 in 2018. He had top-five pass-rushing grades among off-ball linebackers each of the past two seasons.
Bush came to Michigan as a 4-star recruit becoming a full time starter and Michigan’s leading tackler as a sophomore, then the centerpiece of the No. 1 defense in the country as a junior. In 2018, Bush was voted a First-Team All-American, and named the Big Ten Woodson-Nagurski Defensive Player of the Year. Afterwards, he opted to skip his senior season.
NFL bloodlines - Father, Devin Bush Sr. was a first round pick out of Florida State and won Super Bowl XXXIV with St. Louis Rams.
LB Devin Bush showed out for the Maize and Blue pic.twitter.com/0ax0vvvbL4— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) March 3, 2019
Bush registered a blazing 4.43 40-yard dash time and also turned in an eye-popping 40.5” vertical jump as well. His composite athletic profile put him in the 97.9th percentile for off-the-ball Linebackers entering the NFL per Zach Whitman’s 3-Sigma Athlete formula.
Despite his timed speed, the 2018 Ohio State game showed some weaknesses in coverage.
- A dominant run defender, who instantly attacks the line of scrimmage.
- Explosive blitzer who splits blockers like a running back to knife into backfield.
- Bush is powerful, fast, and athletic and makes plays all over the field.
- Generally, showed awareness in zone coverage.
- Fits the prototype for the modern off the ball linebacker.
- Struggles to keep blockers off of him with extension and hand usage.
- Does not play up to his timed speed when in coverage.
- At about 5’11/235, Bush doesn’t have ideal bulk or length to take on blockers.
- Overaggressive nature (scheme?) can be a little feast or famine at times.
What Others Are Saying
Lance Zierlein - “Undersized three-down linebacker with the speed and cover talent to make an easy transition to WILL linebacker as a pro. There will be NFL defenses who pass on Bush due to his lack of size, but his ability to play fast and free as an outside linebacker should supersede those concerns. He will miss some tackles and get engulfed by blockers at other times, but his play strength and ability to run and cover are extremely valuable in today’s game and should not be diminished due to a tape measurement.”
Rob Staton - “I struggle with Devin Bush. Michigan essentially had him charge at the LOS every down. It worked sometimes, being ultra-aggressive. There are times when he gets into the backfield and makes a play, a sack or a TFL. But he essentially had two roles. Aggressively attack the LOS and cover the pass into the flat. That’s all I saw. That’s not a next level gig. You have to read-and-react a lot more, you have to be physical and fill gaps in the run, make sure you don’t lose contain, drop into zone and play various coverages. I found Bush’s run defense to be a liability. In one game he gave up two huge runs by sprinting head first into the mass of bodies at the LOS allowing a pretty easy outside cut. Just read the play and take that away. You’ve got to force the run inside to the bodies, not make that move yourself and leave outside open for a big gain. I just see a guy almost needing to learn a full set of NFL responsibilities and at his size — you’re never quite sure how he’ll settle into that.”
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
The Redskins could see both of their 2018 starters replaced, and it is unclear if their replacements are currently on the roster.
At just 5’11/234, Bush is another of the”new breed’ of NFL LBs who is undersized by traditional measurements, but whose range and ability to hold up in coverage are assets in today’s NFL. In addition to filling the hole against the run, Bush can rush the passer, drop into coverage, and beat a ball carrier to the edge. Because of his outstanding instincts, he should be an immediate contributor as a rookie.