Originally projected to land somewhere in the first round between picks No. 10 and No. 20, the fall out of the first round for Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. was rather surprising and frustrating.
Good things come to those who wait though, and that’s exactly what happened for Porter Jr. and his family on Friday. The Pittsburgh Steelers — Porter Jr.’s hometown team — selected the Penn State product at No. 32 overall to open the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City.
After returning home from Kansas City Thursday night after the disappointing first round, Porter Jr. was in the North Hills when the Steelers made the selection, allowing him to make the trip to the South Side facility quickly. He jumped on the Steelers’ live draft show on YouTube with Missi Matthews and Mike Prisuta to discuss him joining the Steelers.
“Man, it was all worth it. It was all worth it,” Porter Jr. said of the wait to come off the board to open the second round. “The waiting, the process, all the emotions I felt yesterday, today, today made all worth it. I found out right when I got home, I was like sitting down on the couch and I seen that four one two [area code] popped up. I said, ‘Okay, this is the call.’ Like, I knew from right there. So, man, yeah, we’re all excited.”
Sitting in the green room in Kansas City and watching pick after pick come off the board without hearing his name called had to be frustrating and discouraging for Porter Jr. He said he was told by teams and scouts that he’d come off the board at some point in the first round.
That didn’t happen, and while it might have been frustrating to be stuck in the green room after the first round, things happen for a reason. Porter Jr.’s wait led to him staying home in the Steel City with a franchise he’s already familiar with, and a city he knows like the back of his hand.