Position: Free Safety
Weight: 200 lbs
School: Miami Hurricanes
Deon Bush 2016 NFL Draft Profile
Looking to add to the legacy of free safeties from the University of Miami is senior Deon Bush.
A four star recruit out of Miami’s Columbus High School, Bush started his career as a true freshman in 2012 starting six games at safety and appearing in 10 en route to being named Second-team Freshman All-America by CollegeFootballNews.com. The talented defensive back would miss time his sophomore year due to injury, but he would become a full-time starter his junior year, where he started all 11 of the Hurricanes games, finishing with 53 tackles, two sacks, five forced fumbles, and two interceptions. Bush could have declared for the 2015 NFL Draft but elected to return for his senior year.
“I feel like another year will be good because we haven’t won yet. I feel like we should win. I just want to come back with the guys. This is a great place to be at. I’m not trying to rush to go to the NFL. I just love being here [Miami].” – Bush in 2014 on his decision to return for his senior year.
Bush had questions about his durability during his first two college season after having to miss time with injury, including leaving a few games his breakout junior year. In 2015 he quieted those issues by starting 12 of Miami’s 13 games, missing only one start due to a suspension for targeting. He finished his senior season fifth on the team with 50 tackles and broke up six passes, along with a sack and two fumble recoveries while being named All-ACC third team.
Bush isn’t just a good football player, but an overall good person as well. The former Hurricane has done extensive in community service, including using his own per diem money during Miami’s bowl game in 2014 to purchase Christmas gifts for underprivileged youth. The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) added Bush to the 2015 Allstate AFCA Good Works team
Bush was one of the top performers among safeties at the combine, finishing in the top five in bench reps (17) and the vertical jump (36″).
- High level intangibles for the position: size and physicality
- Not afraid to lay the lumber
- Leaping ability to disrupt passes at the high point (has 13 career pass deflections)
- Can make an impact on special teams in kick coverage
- Ability to play close to the line of scrimmage, useful for blitz packages and loading the box against the run
- Bad habit of locking onto receivers instead of viewing the field
- Durability issues early in his career but seem to have quieted those doubts a little after staying healthy for his entire senior season
- Struggles at times to wrap up on tackles
- Tries to go for the ‘kill shot’ with his tackles which has gotten him flagged several times in his career. Was suspended half a game for targeting in 2015. Will have to be cautious with his style of play at the next level.
- Had somewhat of a down year after a breakout junior campaign. His performance against Florida State will stick out on the lowlight reel.
NFL Comparison: Mo Alexander, Los Angeles Rams
Teams with need at position: Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, Atlanta Falcons
Projection: Was regarded as a high draft pick before the season but his stock has fallen dramatically. Would be a safe pick in the third or fourth rounds.
Sean Taylor, Ed Reed, Brandon Meriweather and Kenny Phillips, are just some of the hard hitting safeties Miami has produced over the years. With his physicality and size Deon Bush can add to that legacy at the next level. If Bush continues working to improve his skill set, he has the potential to become a key role player on a defense and eventually a mainstay in the defensive backfield.