The 2021 NFL Draft will still look different than your average one. But there is one piece of normalcy slated to return. According to a memo sent out by the NFL, as reported on by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, teams will be allowed to gather in their team facility “war rooms” for April’s draft.
The NFL informed clubs today they will be allowed in their draft rooms for the 2021 draft, provided physical distancing and proper mask wearing are followed, per source.
So, no "home draft" this year, though cameras will again be installed with each GM and head coach.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 12, 2021
As Pelissero’s tweet indicates, teams will still be required to wear masks and properly socially distance. In potentially crowded rooms, that may still cause teams to have fewer personnel gathering in-person than usual. For the Steelers, that could mean having Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert, Omar Khan, Art Rooney II, and Phil Kreidler meeting in-person with the rest of the staff on a virtual call.
In a recent episode of the Steelers’ Path to the Draft series over on YouTube, you could see the team still conducting pre-draft work virtually. Here’s a screenshot of one meeting.
Let’s walk you through who these faces are. Sitting in the meeting room are Pro Scouting Coordinator Brandon Hunt (left side, black shirt) and head College Scouting Coordinator Phil Kreidler (middle, grey shirt).
On the zoom call, there are several names: Dan Rooney Jr., Mike Butler, Mark Bruener, Daniel Colbert, are all area scouts. Dennis MacInnis is the team’s BLESTO Scout (national scouting agency) while Jay Whitmire is one of the newly hired analytics guys, promoted from intern to replace Karim Kassam.
As Kevin Colbert has said since the pandemic began, regardless of the rules, restrictions, or circumstances, the team’s goal remains the same. Put together the best draft class possible. Whatever obstacles the Steelers have to overcome are issues shared by the other 31 teams. But come the draft, it will be nice to see at least a few Steelers’ faces return to the Bill Nunn Draft Room.