2023 Offseason Questions: JPJ Day – Will Steelers Bring Joey Porter Jr. Back To Pittsburgh?

With the Steelers now in their offseason after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022, coming up just a game short of sneaking in as the seventh seed. They needed help in week 18 and only got some of it, so instead they sat home and watched the playoffs with the rest of us.

On tap is figuring out how to be on the field in January and February instead of being a spectator. They started out 2-6, digging a hole that proved too deep to dig out of even if they managed to go 7-2 in the second half of the year.

Starting from the end of the regular season and leading all the way up to the beginning of the 2023 season, there are plenty of questions that need answered. Which free agents will be kept? Who might be let go due to their salary? How might they tackle free agency with this new front office? How might they tackle the NFL draft? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout this offseason, as we have for many years.

Question: JPJ Day? If the Steelers want to bring Joey Porter Jr. to Pittsburgh, they can. Will they?

One of the many reasons I’m not a fan of mock drafts is the fact that they are inevitably wrong. The information relies upon guesswork from secondhand sources. Most of what we think we learn about what one team is thinking is sourced from intelligence culled from other teams about what they think said teams are doing. Like, apparently teams were convinced Nolan Smith was going to be the Steelers’ guy. Smith barely made it into the first round.

And almost everybody thought that Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. would be a first-round pick, possibly even a top-15 pick. But more than twice as many picks have come and gone without his name being called. He is one of four players who attended the draft who did not get selected in the first round.

Which is potentially great news for the Steelers, if they want him bad enough, because they just so happen to hold the first pick in the second round. They’re essentially “on the clock” already. All they have to do is write his name on their card and that’s that.

But it’s not a guarantee, by any means. Even if many thought Porter might be their pick in the first round, and now they can potentially get him in the second, the reality is that they have options. Remember, we’re all working from what we think the Steelers think. Are they thinking family reunion?

One very strong option is trading back today, because they have a number of valuable options for their next pick beyond Porter. There are still two quarterbacks available whom many thought could potentially slip into the first round, and teams might be motivated to move up for them.

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