The Pittsburgh Steelers prioritize bloodlines when it comes to adding talent via the NFL Draft. Be it drafting J.J. Watt’s brother, T.J. Watt, in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft or selecting TE Connor Heyward, the brother of DL Cameron Heyward in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft last year, Pittsburgh seemingly has an eye for family ties.
Well, as well are under three weeks away from the 2023 NFL Draft kicking off, one first-round prospect’s ties to Pittsburgh couldn’t be stronger. That would be Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr., the son of former Pittsburgh Steelers player and coach Joey Porter, who served on Mike Tomlin’s coaching staff from 2014 to 2018. Besides the obvious father/son connection, Porter Jr. is a cousin of Jason Gildon, who is also a former Steelers outside linebacker. HC Mike Tomlin and the Porter family were close off the field, with Porter Jr. and Tomlin’s son, Dino, having played high school ball together at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.
Having grown up around the Steelers’ facility with his father a player and as a coach, Porter Jr. knows the culture and tradition that comes with being a member of the Black and Gold.
“Just to be able to be in the Steelers locker room (was special),” Porter Jr. said in an interview with NFL Films who tweeted out a clip of Hey Rookie Welcome To The NFL. “I know the history of what my dad did and the other people did before him. So, it was something else.”
Speaking with Porter Jr. at the NFL Combine a month ago, he talked about the possibility of following in his father’s footsteps and being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the draft, saying it would mean a lot to stay home and be close to his family.
Should Porter Jr. be on the board when Pittsburgh gets on the clock at #17 overall April 27th, he is likely one of the favorites to be the pick given the need at the position, the interest shown in him by the Steelers during the pre-draft process, and the obvious family connections. However, there is no guarantee that Porter makes it there as he is often considered one of the top three CBs in the draft class. We shall find out in just over two weeks if Porter will indeed follow in his dad’s footsteps and wear that Black and Gold in the pros.