Rod Woodson remembers the day well. The NFL Draft was nothing like it is today, with wall-to-wall coverage and instant analysis. But it was still special, and it was life-changing.
"It was a lot different," said Woodson. "I was sitting in my home in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. You only had land line phones. We were waiting for someone to call. When the Steelers called I was thinking that is awesome. I didn't talk to them prior to the draft. It never crossed my mind I would be drafted by the Steelers.
"Once I got to Pittsburgh, that is when I fell in love with the city, the team. It was easy to fall in love with the Rooney family. For me it was a good fit."
Woodson is now hoping the Steelers find a few more players that are 'a good fit' in this year's draft, and he will have his eye on one player in particular.
Woodson will be at the NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas to announce the Steelers second-round pick on Friday night as one of the NFL legends taking part. Woodson, the team's No. 1 draft pick in 1987 and a Pro Football Hall of Famer, spent 10 seasons with the Steelers, 17 overall in the NFL, and is honored to represent the black and gold on a special night.
"It's definitely an honor," said Woodson. "I spent 10 wonderful years in Pittsburgh. I still know so many people who work for the organization. It was my first NFL team, the team that gave me my shot to get into the league and develop my skills and my maturity in life. It's a big deal for me. Especially this time in my life. I am a little bit older, I reflect on all of the things. You like to revisit those moments of your career."
Woodson is hoping he gets to call the name of a defensive player, but no matter who it is, he will have a special bond with that player.
"Hopefully it's a defensive player since I am a defensive guy," said Woodson. "Anytime you make a connection, me putting his name out there, and he will be the next generation to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I keep an eye personally on all of the draft picks the Steelers make, how they are going to fare, how they are doing. Hopefully he will be one of the many great ones."
He won't be the only one announcing one of the team's selections. Max Starks, a former Steelers Walter Payton Man of the Year, will announce one of the Steelers third round pick on Friday night.
"Announcing a pick at the NFL Draft is surreal and overwhelming," said Starks. "I have never been to a draft location. I wasn't asked to come to New York at the time I was drafted. I remember sitting at home watching, waiting for my name to be called. To be a part of the process, on site, and announce the future of one lucky young man who gets to play for the Steelers, is awesome. It's a great honor. I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be asked to do something of that nature."
Like Woodson, Starks expects to follow the player he announces through his career as well.
"I will keep an eye on the guy who gets called in the third round, especially since I was a third rounder myself," said Starks. "It means a lot. There is a lot of symbolism. You are the one who announces his arrival into the NFL. Whoever that is, I will keep an eye on him and will contact him when I come back to the facility."
There will be other special guests announcing the team's picks as well. The Sto-Rox High School football team will be at the Steelers Fan Blitz at Heinz Field on Saturday and will announce the first of the Steelers two fifth-round picks. Sto-Rox received a grant from the Steelers through the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program to install a new synthetic turf at the school.
The other fifth round pick will be announced by U.S. Army Captain and Bronze Star Recipient John Kelly and his service dog, Ranger as a part of the NFL's Salute to Service.