After the slew of free agent moves made by the Denver Broncos, could Michigan’s Devin Bush be the final piece to the puzzle?
Michigan Wolverines linebacker Devin Bush is one of the fastest risers in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Since the Denver Broncos addressed every position but guard and linebacker so far, the door is open to select Bush with the 10th overall pick. There’s another Devin atop the NFL Draft boards at linebacker — LSU’s Devin White — but it seems he will be long gone by the time the Broncos are on the clock.
Both players are similar athletically. The only major difference is height.
Bush is a tremendous sideline to sideline linebacker who moves like a defensive back at the position. That’s fitting because he’s a converted defensive back. This quickness helps him in coverage and we know that is a glaring weakness for the Denver Broncos defense. Covering running backs and tight ends has been one of the biggest problems regarding the defense.
However, the defense is significantly upgraded with additions of Kareem Jackson and Bryce Callahan. An addition of Bush would allow tremendous flexibility in coverage.
At least on paper, the addition of Bush would get the Denver Broncos very close to ‘elite’ once again.
The Broncos have been missing elite play at linebacker since Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan were together. When the 2015 defense clicked, it was historically impressive. They can quickly become an elite defense if a Bush is drafted in the first round at 10 overall. Denver needs this type of player again. Maybe Elway does luck out and chooses White, but Bush gives the defense that same amount of effectiveness and efficiency.
Factor this in as well with the linebacker position. Vic Fangio has plenty of success coaching linebackers. Before joining the Denver Broncos, Fangio has had 36 Pro Bowl appearances and 23 First-Team All-Pros among the players he has coached through the years.
He has coached inside linebackers like Patrick Willis, Navarro Bowman, Sam Mills, Chris Borland, Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith, and many others. There are also connections that cannot be ignored.
In 2010, Fangio joined Jim Harbaugh’s staff at Stanford University. Without any sources, my guess is those two have each other’s contacts in their phones. Maybe it is nothing, but seeing as football is a tight-knit community it is a little hard to ignore.
Lastly, the Denver Broncos have an affinity for looking at the Big Ten Conference for talent. The SEC boasts the best conference in college football, but to the Broncos the Big Ten seems to be the most pro-ready.
Denver has nine players from the Big Ten and two from Michigan already on the roster. They even took three Big Ten prospects in 2018: DaeSean Hamilton, Josey Jewell, and Troy Fumagalli. My guess is Denver will look to that conference again in 2019.
Obviously, plans change periodically during the NFL Draft process. That said, the Denver Broncos will have strong first-round selections in back-to-back years. We realize the NFL Draft deals with a lot of ‘what if’ scenarios, but as we sit here on March 19, Bush is the logical fit with the 10th selection.