Members of the Schmidt Family of West Leechburg, Pa. will officially announce one of the Steelers’ Day Three picks in the 2021 NFL Draft on Saturday.
U.S. Army staff sergeant Jonathan Schmidt was killed in action in Batur Village, Afghanistan in 2012, leaving behind his wife Natalie and son Aiden, who will help make the Steelers’ choice official.
The Schmidt Family was chosen through TAPS, which offers care to those grieving the loss of a family member serving in the military. The family will be participating in the draft broadcast virtually.
Jonathan Schmidt was awarded the Bronze Star for his service. He was born in Miami and was raised in Virginia, but his parents were dedicated Steelers fans and his wife, Natalie, is a Pittsburgh-area native.
“My husband and I always talked about going to our first Steelers football game together, but I unfortunately never got the chance as he died before we could,” Schmidt wrote in an e-mail to TAPS that was published by Steelers.com. “As a child he moved a lot. Jonathan never felt like he truly had a ‘hometown’ other than where he graduated from in Virginia and enlisted in the military. His family’s love of Pittsburgh, and knowing that this is where I grew up, always helped him feel at home here.”
The Steelers have five selections on Saturday: the 128th and 140th overall selections in the fourth round, the 216th pick in the sixth round and the 245th and 254th overall picks in the seventh round.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell typically announces the picks made during the first round. Steelers Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris will be announcing the team’s second- and third-round selections.