‘It Was A Great Conversation:’ Joey Porter Jr. Recounts Recent Steelers Pre-Draft Visit

If there is a dot to connect throughout the entire 2023 NFL Draft process, it’s Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr. going to the Pittsburgh Steelers. While not guaranteed, the reasons to believe it’ll happen are easy. Joey Porter Sr. a great Steelers linebacker and eventual coach; a father and son with a close relationship with head coach Mike Tomlin. Porter Jr. still needs to fall to #17, and that’s no sure thing, but he checks all the other boxes.

Though an introduction was hardly needed, Porter still had a pre-draft visit with the Steelers earlier in the week. It’s considered a local visit, not counting against Pittsburgh’s allotted 30. Porter joined Rich Eisen on The Rich Eisen Show Friday to discuss Porter’s stop in Pittsburgh, noting the team talked to him about his dad and how Porter Jr. could carve his own path in the pros.

“The history of my dad and everything he’s done for the sport and the Steelers,” Porter told Eisen of the Steelers’ conversation. “That comes to mind. They’ve talked to me about that a little bit. And what I could bring to the table. It was a great conversation.”

While Porter met Tomlin, it was far from their first encounter. Porter grew up in Western PA, playing high school football alongside Tomlin’s son Dino, the two families staying close. Football Dads on Friday night, football coaches on Sunday afternoon. For Porter, the visit was a good catch-up but it was a stop he’s made many times before.

“It was great,” Porter said. “Haven’t seen him in awhile obviously because I’ve been in Penn State and taking care of business. Same as him. It was a good reunion to see him and see some of the staff there. I’ve been going there since I was a kid. I’ve seen a lot of old faces, I already knew the facility.”

Porter is battling to be one of the top corners taken in the first round of this year’s draft. Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez and Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon are the other two legs of the “big three” of this cornerback class, an unusually deep position with more than a half-dozen names expected to be selected within the top 50 picks. Porter’s stock is a little all over the map, mocked anywhere from #10 into the 20s, including to the Baltimore Ravens, who also hosted him on a visit this week. But if he’s there at #17, the Steelers might not pass him up.

Just as there was with Kenny Pickett last year, there’s a level of comfort and “known” that Porter brings, helping to clear up an otherwise muddy process. It’s also at a position of need and an area the team will upgrade sooner than later in the draft.

Check out the whole interview with Eisen below.

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