DC Teryl Austin Expects Immediate Contribution From CB Joey Porter Jr. ‘There’s No Redshirts’

Cornerback Joey Porter Jr. fell right into the Pittsburgh Steelers’ lap at #32. And despite reported tempting trade offers, the Steelers held the pick and took Porter. Speaking during the post-pick press conference, DC Teryl Austin said expects Porter to come in and help right away.

“We know we wanted a young corner,” Austin began by saying in a presser carried via the team’s YouTube channel. “He’s got a lot of great attributes. Size, length, competitive, tough, really good. Really glad we were able to get him to come in and contribute to our team. We’re looking forward to him coming in, competing, having an opportunity to help us win games this year. There’s no redshirts, none of that stuff. Hopefully when he gets in here, we’ll get right to work.”

Porter was a potential first-round pick who fell out of the top 31, in part due to a deep cornerback class. The Steelers could’ve made him the pick at #17 and no one would’ve batted an eye. Beyond the obvious bloodlines, Porter is regarded as a top press-man cornerback. With long, 34-inch arms, Porter defends the quick passing game well, taking away slants and underneath throws. Against Purdue last fall, he broke up six passes.

Porter also cleaned up his technique in 2022; it’s one reason why he didn’t declare after 2021

While Austin is setting a high bar, he also acknowledged Porter won’t be handed any job. It’ll have to be earned.

“Everybody’s gonna have to earn it but he’s gonna have every opportunity to get in there and show us what he can do,” Austin said.

In the offseason, the Steelers replaced CB Cam Sutton with veteran Patrick Peterson, who will mentor Porter. At the very least, Porter could be worked into sub-packages, though it’s not totally clear whom the Steelers’ slot corner will be.

Peterson is the only Steelers’ corner under contract past the 2023 season and at his age, there’s no guarantee he’ll remain with Pittsburgh in 2024. Adding a quality corner like Porter is key for the present, as Austin highlighted, and also for the future.

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