Two teams looking to dethrone the New England Patriots as kings of the AFC — the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers — joined forces Thursday night and pulled off the first trade of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Devin Bush (Michigan) is selected as the number ten overall pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers and poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Broncos sent the 10th overall pick in the draft to the Steelers, who in turn used the pick to select Devin Bush, an inside linebacker who played at Michigan.
In return, Pittsburgh sent Denver the Nos. 20 and 52 picks in this year’s draft and a third-round pick in 2020. The Broncos used the 20th pick to select Iowa tight end Noah Fant.
According to multiple reports, the teams had been in talks about the 10th pick, but as the Broncos went on the clock, they presumed the Steelers were no longer interested in making a deal. However, in the closing minute of Denver’s allotted time to make a pick, Pittsburgh called and made the trade.
Bush will be looked upon to help address the void in production the Steelers have yet to fill since losing Ryan Shazier to a spinal injury in 2017. As a junior last season with the Wolverines, Bush had 66 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and four passes defended.
According to reports, the Broncos were eyeing tight end T.J. Hockenson — Fant’s teammate at Iowa — with the 10th pick. However, Hockenson went to the Detroit Lions at No. 8.
—The Seattle Seahawks traded the 21st overall selection to the Green Bay Packers, who used the pick on safety Darnell Savage Jr. from Maryland. In return, the Seahawks got pick No. 30 plus a pair of 2019 fourth-round picks.
Savage was the first defensive back taken in a draft that initially was dominated by front-seven players and offensive linemen. Though not viewed by many prognosticators as being in the running to be the first defensive back off the board, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Savage had at least 52 tackles in each of his final three seasons with the Terrapins. He also had seven interceptions and 10 passes defended over the last two seasons.
Savage could pair with Adrian Amos in a new-look back line for the Packers. The team signed Amos to a four-year contract this offseason after he spent his first four seasons in Chicago.
—On the very next pick, the Baltimore Ravens sent the No. 22 overall selection to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for the No. 25 overall pick as well as fourth- and sixth-round picks in this draft.
The Eagles used the pick to select offensive tackle Andre Dillard out of Washington State. He is the first offensive lineman from Washington State taken in the first round.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Houston Texans targeted Dillard with the No. 23 pick, forcing the Eagles’ hand. Cornerstone tackle Jason Peters, a likely future Pro Football Hall of Fame member, is 37 and entering his 16th season.
—Field Level Media