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Vikings draft target profile: LB Devin Bush

Devin Bush made his mark on Saturday afternoons as one of the quickest linebackers in the Big Ten Conference and arguably the most valuable player on Michigan’s defense the last few seasons under Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown. After declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft early and having a strong showing at the combine, he has thrown himself into the mix as one of the class’ top linebacker prospects.

Here is a look at what the former member of the University of Michigan football team brings to the table:

Info

Height/Weight: 5-11, 220 pounds

School: Michigan

Position: Linebacker

Projected: 1st round

Strengths

  • A sideline-to-sideline player who has a terrific first step off the snap of the football and moves as smoothly as any linebacker in this class
  • High-motor player that does not back down from contact or confrontation
  • Explosive tackler that shoots the gaps well and delivered a number of big hits in college
  • Possesses a high football IQ and was asked to do a lot in Michigan’s defense and did everything he was asked fairly well

Weaknesses

  • Sometimes struggled reading his keys and re-adjusting on the fly
  • Pass coverage skills are still very much a work in progress, though he did improve there
  • Shedding blocks is far from one of one of his best traits, may need good DL in front of him
  • Prone to post-whistle penalties as times in college at Michigan

Overview

Bush is pretty much exactly what teams are looking for in terms of the athletic traits in their modern linebackers. He is a bit undersized, but it never hurt him at Michigan and it should not wind up hurting him at the next level in an NFL that is getting more and more athletic at the position. Teams should not be as concerned with his pass coverage struggles, as the arrow could still be pointing up there with the coaching he will get at the next level, as he is more than capable of covering running backs out of the backfield or tight ends over the middle. The way that Bush flies around the field is impressive and he would be a terrific replacement to Anthony Barr, as his skill-set might actually be a better fit for the position anyway.

Think of a game like last season against the Rams where Sean McVay was able to exploit mismatches in coverage on Barr with players like Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. That is not Barr’s game, but Bush would be a player that may be better suited for that type of assignment.

(There are still Super Bowl aspirations in Minnesota despite missing the playoffs in 2018, leading to a key offseason of decisions and moves Don’t miss any of the action! Sign up for our FREE Vikings newsletter here!)

The offseason is in full swing as NFL teams work to build for the 2019 season and beyond. The NFL Combine is in the rearview mirror and the start of free agency and the new league year on March 13 is up next. The 2019 NFL Draft kicks off from Nashville, Tennessee on April 25, 2019, and runs through April 27, 2019. The first round will be held on Thursday night, followed by the second and third round on Friday night and will conclude with rounds four through seven on Saturday.

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