The NFL has a long history of including former players as part of the annual draft and this year that trend will continue.
According to a league release Wednesday morning, several former NFL players will be announcing selections of their former teams in the second and third rounds during the 2018 NFL Draft and for the Pittsburgh Steelers those honors will go to Rod Woodson and Max Starks.
Woodson, who will announce the Steelers second-round pick on Friday night, was the Steelers first-round in the 1987 NFL Draft. He spent 10 seasons as a defensive back with the Steelers and played a total of 17 in the NFL before retiring. In 2009 he was was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
“It’s definitely an honor,” said Woodson, according to Teresa Varley of steelers.com. “I spent 10 wonderful years in Pittsburgh. I still know so many people who work for the organization. It was my first NFL team, the team that gave me my shot to get into the league and develop my skills and my maturity in life. It’s a big deal for me. Especially this time in my life. I am a little bit older, I reflect on all of the things. You like to revisit those moments of your career.”
Woodson went on to say that he hopes to announce a defensive player as the Steelers second-round selection Friday night.
As for Starks, who will announce the Steelers third-round selection Friday night, he was drafted by Pittsburgh in the third-round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Starks played 9 seasons at tackle for the Steelers and a total of 11 in the NFL before he retired.
“Announcing a pick at the NFL Draft is surreal and overwhelming,” said Starks, per Varley. “I have never been to a draft location. I wasn’t asked to come to New York at the time I was drafted. I remember sitting at home watching, waiting for my name to be called. To be a part of the process, on site, and announce the future of one lucky young man who gets to play for the Steelers, is awesome. It’s a great honor. I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be asked to do something of that nature.”
Like Woodson, Starks said he will follow the career of the player he announces Friday night closely.
“I will keep an eye on the guy who gets called in the third round, especially since I was a third rounder myself,” said Starks, per Varley. “It means a lot. There is a lot of symbolism. You are the one who announces his arrival into the NFL. Whoever that is, I will keep an eye on him and will contact him when I come back to the facility.”
The Steelers will also have special guests announcing their two fifth-round selections later in the draft as the Sto-Rox High School football team are scheduled to announce the team’s first of two fifth-round selections while U.S. Army Captain and Bronze Star Recipient John Kelly and his service dog will announce the team’s currently scheduled second fifth-round selection.