Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was happy to see his team add to the offense in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Since Smith-Schuster was the team’s second-round pick in 2017, the Steelers had used their first-round pick on defense three straight times, drafting safety Terrell Edmunds in 2018, linebacker Devin Bush in 2019 and trading their first-round pick for safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in 2020.
The last offensive player the team took with a first-round pick was guard David DeCastro in 2012. The last time it was a skill-position player? All the way back to Rashard Mendenhall in 2008.
So when head coach Mike Tomlin called Smith-Schuster on Thursday night to let him know who the team was going to take, it got an enthusiastic reaction from the star Pittsburgh wide receiver.
“Coach T actually called me about it, told me to reach out to [Harris], and I told Coach T, ‘Finally, you drafted an offensive player in the first round,’” Smith-Schuster said to CBS on Monday. “Because our defense, there’s at least eight to 10 first-rounders there.”
Smith-Schuster also said he sees the versatile Harris being a good fit for the team and should change the offense for the better.
“I think he changes it tremendously,” Smith-Schuster said. “You know, we lost a teammate in James Conner. And (Najee’s) a guy that’s been on the big stage.”