Pre-Draft Process ‘Probably 85%’ Similar To How It Was Under Kevin Colbert, Omar Khan Says

When the Pittsburgh Steelers hired Omar Khan as general manager last year, it indicated that there would at least be some continuity from former general manager Kevin Colbert to Khan in terms of team building. In his pre-draft press conference with Head Coach Mike Tomlin today, Khan said the pre-draft process, the first without Colbert since 1999, is “85 percet similar” to how it was done with Colbert in the fold.

“It’s been really a similar process. I’d say it’s probably 85 percent, very similar to how we’ve done it in the past. I learned it from Kevin [Colbert] and have a lot of respect for how we’ve always done it. Now having said that, we brought in Andy [Weidl] and Dan Colbert and Mark Sadowski and Sheldon White and they’ve had some really cool ideas and things they’ve done elsewhere that they’ve given to us,” Khan said via the team’s YouTube channel.

While Khan was an internal hire, he brought in Weidl, a former Eagles front-office executive, to be the team’s first assistant general manager. He also added Sadowski, whom he worked with in New Orleans with the Saints — and who had most recently worked for the Chicago Bears — as well as White while promoting Colbert. So despite the team staying internal with Khan, he made sure there were a lot of new voices in the front office to help him as a first-time general manager. It seems as though while the general process is similar, there are a lot of new ideas that the Steelers are implementing when it comes to looking at and interviewing and evaluating draft prospects.

As far as the offseason as a whole, the Steelers have been a lot more aggressive when it comes to free agency and even trades, as the team acquired wide receiver Allen Robinson last week. They also swung big on the offensive line, bringing in arguably the best free-agent guard in Isaac Seumalo from the Eagles. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Steelers get aggressive in the draft if they want to trade up for a certain prospect, something they rarely did under Colbert. So while the process might be similar, we’ll see if the actual execution of the draft falls under a similar process.

It’s an exciting time to be a Steelers fan. With three top-50 picks, a new, young front office that’s been very impressive in its short time at the helm, and a developing young quarterback in Kenny Pickett, the Steelers are a team on the rise. It’s going to be fun to see who the team selects and how they shore up their remaining needs starting on Thursday.

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