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.
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.
With the 25th pick, the Ravens selected wide receiver Marquis Brown out of Oklahoma. Brown, cousin of the Oakland Raiders’ Antonio Brown, was the first receiver selected on Thursday.
—After staying put and getting quarterback Dwayne Haskins at No. 15, the Washington Redskins moved up to No. 26 to take Mississippi State defensive lineman Montez Sweat. In return, the Indianapolis Colts got a pair of second-round picks, No. 46 overall this year and a second-rounder next year.
Sweat made headlines at the scouting combine last month when he ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash, the fastest 40 by a defensive lineman at the combine in at least 15 years.
Some people predicted a fall down the draft board for Sweat after reports surfaced that a heart condition was discovered during medical tests at the combine. But in recent days, some reports indicated that may have been a misdiagnosis, simply adding to the mystery around Sweat’s draft prospects. In his last two seasons with the Bulldogs, Sweat posted 98 tackles, 22.5 sacks and 30 tackles for loss.
—The Seahawks shipped that 30th overall pick they received in the earlier trade with Green Bay to New York. With that pick, the Giants selected Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker — the first cornerback selected Thursday.
New York sent Seattle three picks in return — Nos. 37, 132 and 142 this year. The move also meant the Giants made three picks in the first round this year.
Baker had 116 tackles, seven interceptions and 23 passes defended in his collegiate career, though he played in only one game as a freshman.
—The Los Angeles Rams traded the next pick, as well, sending No. 31 to Atlanta in exchange for picks 45 and 79 this year. With the pick, Atlanta took offensive tackle Kaleb McGary out of Washington.
It was the Falcons’ second pick of the night, and second offensive lineman selected. Atlanta took Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom with the 14th pick.
—Field Level Media