Despite a strong regular season campaign in 2020, the Pittsburgh Steelers have multiple needs to address at this weekend’s NFL Draft. They’ll be on the clock with the No. 24 overall pick on Thursday.
The next step is for the organization’s owner Art Rooney II, general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin to reach a consensus on their priorities for this weekend. The trio has worked in close proximity throughout the process so far.
However, when asked who has the final say in the Steelers’ draft room, Tomlin confidently named Rooney.
“Mr. Rooney’s the boss,” Tomlin said, per Pro Football Talk. “Kevin and I have worked so well and so long together that we can kind of communicate nonverbally in those moments. But at the end of the day, Art Rooney is the boss.”
Asked about the Steelers' ultimate decision-making authority on draft day, Mike Tomlin said, "At the end of the day, Art Rooney is the boss." https://t.co/vRGuK2KsLw
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 27, 2021
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert confirmed that Rooney has been involved in the draft process, but mentioned that the owner seems content to trust the personnel around him.
“Of course Art will be involved because he is the owner and he knows every step of the process. He sits in on meetings when he can, he gives us input when he can and when he wants to, and of course we’re going to follow those leads, but I think he trusts us,” Colbert said.
Neither Tomlin or Colbert’s comments are surprising, as most owners around the league have some involvement in their organization’s draft process. Rooney seems to be no different.
Mock drafts throughout the offseason have the Steelers choosing a wide range of players in the first round, but signs point to the organization taking an offensive lineman. Former Alabama running back Najee Harris might also be a worthwhile pick for Pittsburgh, seeing as the franchise let James Conner go in free agency.
We’ll find out what Rooney, Colbert and Tomlin decide this Thursday.