Fant vs. Bush: Did the Broncos Really Blow Their 2019 First-Round Pick?

Erick Trickel

Sitting at pick No. 10 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos decided to pass up on taking a defensive tackle, linebacker, offensive line, and a quarterback, instead choosing to trade down. 

This decision was met with ridicule from Broncos fans and even media on a local and national level.

The decision to trade down received even more criticism when the Broncos ended up drafting Iowa TE Noah Fant at pick 20. Denver needed a linebacker so badly, and they had Michigan's Devin Bush right there, but instead they moved down. 

The ridicule was at a highpoint as Bush lit up the preseason, and to start the season, it grew louder and louder with each game.

Broncos fans saw Fant’s issues as a blocker and heard from national media about Bush making some plays. Here's the thing; the shade was undeserved.

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Both players are young in their NFL careers, but Fant has been playing good football as a receiver, which is his strong suit. Meanwhile, Bush has really struggled and has even seen his playing time in Pittsburgh cut in favor of Mark Barron.

Just factoring in their respective performances thus far and Fant’s issues as a blocker, the results have actually been similar, but there was more to the trade that gets factored in. The Broncos also got some extra draft picks, which they packaged to move up and get a quarterback in round two that the team was considering taking at No. 10 overall. 

The Broncos also got a third-round pick in the 2020 draft, which is looking better and better with each passing game.

Will both players end up great? Impossible to say. 

The careers of both Fant and Bush are still young and they each have a ways to go in their respective development. However, the ridicule the Broncos have received is more extreme than rightfully deserved. 

So far, the early returns have actually been in the Broncos' favor. Check out the video above for the full breakdown, including the advanced analytics, comparing the two 2019 first-rounders. 

Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel and @MileHighHuddle. 

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Comments (6)
No. 1-2
Chad Jensen
Chad Jensen


Noah Fant has absolutely exceeded my expectations as a rookie. Couldn't be happier.


They needed a linebacker that could cover tight ends. But they also needed a tight end that could be a mismatch.

He already broke the team’s rookie TE receiving record. Imagine what he could do with a better QB. The future is bright.