Mel Blount remembers when he was drafted back in 1970, and it was nothing like the fanfare, pageantry and excitement that surround the 2015 NFL Draft.
"It was two different worlds," said Blount, the Steelers third-round pick in 1970 who went on to have a Hall of Fame career. "On draft day for me I was on campus at school and they weren't bringing guys to the city where the draft is. What I see here in Chicago, this is an event. You have families, agents, draft choices, cameras. It truly is an experience for me. I spent 14 years in the league and this is something I find fascinating."
Blount is in Chicago for the NFL Draft, and will announce the Steelers second-round pick on Friday night. It's the fifth year that the NFL has had former players announcing their team's second-round pick, tying the past and present together.
"First of all I am honored to do this and be a part of what I call one of the most important drafts," said Blount. "With the Steelers losing some of the leadership in the secondary, I am hoping they can find an outstanding cover guy. I am looking forward to it and honored I was asked to announce the second pick."
Images of the Steelers at the UPMC Sport Performance Complex during the first day of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Blount arrived in Chicago on Wednesday, and said he was amazed from the get-go by all of the activities and hype for the draft, and just how truly different things are.
"It really is a whole new ball game from when I was drafted until now," marveled Blount. "Even in the last five or six years, what I see has happened fast is this is an event within itself. It's growing every year. There is so much going on it's like a miniature Super Bowl. It's unbelievable.
"I had the chance to meet some of the prospects when they introduced the legends and prospects. I thought it really is amazing how different it is. They have a whole new swagger. The kids were coming out with cell phones, doing videos and selfies. What a world we live in."
Blount took part in some of the draft activities, including meeting Steelers fans.
"I saw some Steelers fans and did some autographs," said Blount. "It's great to see the reaction and excitement from the fans, them really being into the team and who we need to draft."