Devin Bush, Jr. – LB – Pittsburgh Steelers (Round 1, #10 overall)
I think Pittsburgh is a great fit for Bush. When Bush was projected to go to the Steelers at #20, I thought it would be a good fit, but I didn’t know if he would last that long. The Steelers traded up to #10, and for good reason, because he would have been gone. I think Bush will become a cornerstone of that franchise.
But his draft night suit was awful:
Hit the jump for thoughts on the other three picks to go off the board so far.
Rashan Gary – DE/OLB – Green Bay Packers (Round 1, #12 overall)
Gary is a bit of a strange fit with the Packers, especially now that they announced he’ll start off in the outside linebackers room. At 6’4″ and 277 lbs., he does have the athletic traits of an outside linebacker, despite having the size of an end. On the plus side, he has the flexibility to move to end if outside linebacker doesn’t fit. I think Gary is a good cultural fit in Green Bay, and the fans will like him.
Chase Winovich – DE/OLB – New England Patriots (Round 3, #77 overall)
This is another great fit. I thought Winovich would do well with the Packers or Patriots, along with a few other teams. He’s a hard worker who plays with passion, and I think Bill Belichick will find some different ways to use him, maybe as a package player. He’s shown the ability to come off the edge with his hand down, or stand up and blitz.
David Long, Jr. – CB – Los Angeles Rams (Round 3, #79 overall)
The Rams needed some young help at cornerback, so this is a good pick from a team need standpoint. It’s also good news for Long, who played his high school ball at Loyola in L.A. He graded out as one of the top few corners in the country, and there were some (including me) who thought he would go in round two. Instead, he went in the middle of the third round, which is still pretty solid. He’s going to a team that has had success over the past couple years, and he’ll be playing under a defensive coordinator with a very good track record.
BONUS DETROIT LIONS HOT TAKES
Yes, I’m a Detroit Lions fan, and their draft sucks so far.
They picked Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson at #8, which was one of my fears. They should have picked offensive lineman Jonah Williams (Alabama), who went to Cincinnati at #11. Even Bush would have been a better pick. They signed Jesse James as a free agent. The Lions can do just fine in their passing game with mediocre tight ends. Quarterback Matt Stafford is a guy who does a better job throwing deep to speedy wide receivers than working tight ends, which we saw for a few years with Eric Ebron, who apparently was just fine as a talent, because he went and caught 12 touchdowns with Andrew Luck as a QB. I like Stafford, but I’m not convinced that tight ends are his thing. The Lions were just fine with James and whoever else.
Then the Lions grabbed Hawaii linebacker Jahlani Tavai in the second round, a slow, run-stopping prospect with a recent shoulder injury. Sure, he’s tough. Tough and slow guys are a dime a dozen. The Lions could have picked him later in the draft, or at least someone approximating his talent.
I’ve seen some people suggest that Michigan could have grabbed Bush at #8 and Alabama tight end Irv Smith, Jr. in the second round, which makes a whole lot more sense. You get a better, more versatile inside linebacker, and you get a pretty talented tight end (again, who probably doesn’t matter much to Stafford).
That would make too much sense, though.
The Lions’ third round pick, Boston College safety Will Harris, is probably the most sensible pick so far. He can run, but he’s probably not ready to play immediately. Again, the Lions probably could have nabbed a better safety in the second round and picked up a tight end later.
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