Steelers Draft Picks Will Be Decided By Omar Khan, Mike Tomlin, And Art Rooney II

For the first time in more than two decades, the Pittsburgh Steelers shook up their front office. Kevin Colbert retired, Omar Khan was promoted in his place, Andy Weidl was brought over as the assistant GM, and the team added and subtracted several names among their scouting staff.

On the surface, it’s a little harder to read into the team’s draft process this year. But speaking to the media Tuesday at this year’s NFL Combine, attended by our Joe Clark and Jonathan Heitritter, Khan shed some light on how the process will work.

“So, the way we’re doing it, the way I’m doing it, I’d say that Andy’s in charge of putting the board together,” Khan said. “He’s gonna have a lot of influence from Mark Sadowski and Dan Colbert, who are a big part of this. And obviously Coach [Tomlin] and I are gonna be heavily involved. And Coach, Art [Rooney] and I will make sure to get together and make the right decisions.”

To recap, Weidl sets the draft board, the same role he had in Philadelphia since 2019, with Director of Player Scouting Mark Sadowski and Director of College Scouting Dan Colbert helping him set the board. From there, Art Rooney II, Mike Tomlin, and Khan will make the pick.

It sounds like Weidl isn’t involved in the literal decision-making process, a notable piece of information. You have to wonder if Weidl is thrilled about that, effectively being the same role as he was with the Eagles, setting the board but Howie Roseman making the picks, despite now having the elevated title of assistant GM.

Sadowski is a new name to the front office, hired by Khan shortly after being tabbed as GM last summer. Sadowski and Khan have been friends for decades, attending Tulane together, and Khan helped Sadowski land his first NFL job with the New Orleans Saints. Colbert has served as a longtime area scout who was promoted last year to Director of College Scouting.

Even with the new and moving pieces, the Steelers’ structure hasn’t seemed to change much. The “big three” of owner, head coach, and general manager make the pick while the rest of the staff help provide information for those three to make the best picks possible. Rooney has a bigger influence than some think. He’s not Jerry Jones but he’s not entirely hands-off and dictates the general direction of the team, especially with that first round pick. When he wanted the team to improve its run game for 2021, they took RB Najee Harris. When quarterback was an obvious need in 2022, they took Kenny Pickett.

In 2023, the direction is a little less obvious. The board is a bit more open. And it’ll make for a really exciting draft season.

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