ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Just three days before the 2019 NFL Draft, there’s still no consensus on whom the Broncos will select with the 10th-overall pick.
But one of the most distinguished experts, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., explained Monday why he believes Michigan linebacker Devin Bush could be headed to the Mile High City — and how much of an immediate impact Bush could have.
“A huge impact,” Kiper said during a conference call. “I think Denver [or] Cincinnati would be two great opportunities for him. He’s all over the field. He’s basically going to give you what the speedy, athletic Deion Jones-type linebackers are giving teams in the NFL right now, the way he flies to the football. He’s a great leader. He’s got a tremendous passion for the game.”
Jones, a 2016 second-round draft pick by the Falcons, was Atlanta’s leading tackler in his first two seasons before being placed on injured reserve this past season. Behind his 108 total tackles, 11 passes defensed and three interceptions, including two pick-sixes, Jones helped the Falcons reach the Super Bowl. Then, he returned in 2017 with an even better campaign, recording 138 combined tackles and grading out as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-highest rated linebacker in the NFL.
In his most recent mock draft with fellow ESPN analyst Todd McShay, Kiper had the Broncos picking Bush after McShay predicted the Buccaneers would select former LSU linebacker Devin White at fifth overall.
However, Kiper doesn’t see much of a drop-off in the talent between White and Bush.
“Everybody’s so positive on Devin Bush,” Kiper said. “The consistency — and on tape — game-to-game consistency, love of the game. Today’s NFL fits him perfectly. There’s not much separating him from Devin White. If Devin White’s going to go five to Tampa, they both ran similar [40-yard dash times] — 4.42, 4.43 — they were right there. … I think he’s one of the best football players in this draft. He’s right now No. 7 on … my big board.”
With star pass rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb on either side of the defensive front and Head Coach Vic Fangio leading the way, Bush may be a perfect fit.