While the Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t announced all the numbers of their rookie class, we know the jersey CB Joey Porter Jr. will be sporting. He’ll be wearing #24 this season and doing so in honor of Ike Taylor, the former great Steelers cornerback, who is now an assistant scout with the team.
Taylor confirmed the news – which hasn’t been made public by the team – on a podcast with Dave Dameshek, which aired Tuesday morning.
“Just looking in the group text,” Taylor told Dameshek. “It’s still a lot of us in the group text. Peezy, Joey Porter Sr. was like, ‘He’s going to wear that 2-4 in honor of Uncle Ike.’ I was like, ‘oh hell yeah.”
Porter Jr. will wear the number Taylor wore throughout his Steelers’ career. On the podcast, Taylor said Porter’s game reminds him of his own. A tall, big, and physical corner who can thrive in man coverage.
Number 24 was most recently worn by RB Benny Snell and perhaps a small sign – though not definitive – that Snell will not return. He remains a free agent after spending last season in Pittsburgh as the team’s #3 running back and core special teamer. Some thought Porter would wear his college #9 but that number is spoken for by kicker Chris Boswell, who probably was in no hurry to give it up. Kickers are superstitious like that.
In addition to Porter, we know first-round pick OT Broderick Jones will wear #77 to honor former Georgia teammate Devon Willock, killed in a car crash in January.
We should know the rest of the Steelers’ rookie class jersey numbers in the coming days. Pittsburgh will hold its three-day rookie minicamp May 12th through the 14th and we’ll obviously get their numbers by then.
Porter was the team’s second-round pick, #32 overall, and someone projected to in the first round, perhaps as early as #17 to the Steelers. He’s expected to be an immediate impact player along Pittsburgh’s defense.