From an early age, Devin Bush's life revolved around the NFL.
His father, Devin Bush Sr., played safety for the Atlanta Falcons, St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns from the mid-1990s to the early-2000s. And when his father's playing days were over, he coached Bush at Charles W. Flanagan High School in Florida, helping to mold him into a four-star prospect at linebacker. Shortly after Bush committed to Michigan, his father joined the Wolverines' coaching staff as a defensive analyst.
Now, after an All-American career at Michigan, Bush has put himself in position to follow in his father's footsteps of being a first-round pick, with some analysts believing the Washington Redskins will select him with the 15th-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
"That's one person I can always lean on, one person that's never going to give bad advice," Bush said about his father while speaking to reporters at the NFL Combine. "He's going to keep it straight up with me and keep it real. He always encouraged me to be the best person I could be. When I was young, he said not to play the game because he played it. I should play because I want to. He always made sure I was playing the game for me and not him. When I made the decision to play football, he always stood by me. He was my biggest critic. He was always on me, but he always helped me get better."
Bush began his college career as a backup before breaking out during his sophomore campaign, when he earned first-team All-Big Ten and second-team All-America honors. And he was even better this past season, being named as a first-team All-American and the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He's now being looked at as one of the best linebackers in this year's draft.
According to Joe Marino of the Draft Network, Bush " stacked consecutive dominant seasons together at Michigan while developing into a top linebacker prospect. A versatile defender, Bush projects favorably to all three linebacker positions but is likely most natural as an inside backer. His processing skills, physicality and range makes him an every-down option with playmaking upside. Bush does have some limitations when tackling and playing through contact that are present because he lacks ideal length. Bush should be able to start early in his career and become an impact playmaker with the upside to be the face of an NFL defense."
Take a look at photos from Sunday March 3, 2019 at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. Photos from NFL.
Bush believes his playing style is similar to NFL linebackers such as Tampa Bay's Lavonte David, Atlanta's Deion Jones and Pittsburgh's Ryan Shazier. They're all cerebral, versatile linebackers who can rush the quarterback, stuff the run and play in coverage. During his interviews at the Combine, Bush said NFL teams walked away impressed with his perspective and knowledge of the game.
Bush credits Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown for his high football IQ and situational awareness. With these qualities, in addition to his elite speed (4.23-second 40-yard dash) and strength (21 bench press repetitions), Bush sports an all-around skill set he believes is superior to his peers.
"I'm a true leader," Bush said. "My film speaks for itself, and I'm going to bring it every day. I don't complain about much. All I ask for is an opportunity to play football."