Ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, Pittsburgh Steelers GM Omar Khan and head coach Mike Tomlin knew that they’d have some interest from teams looking to trade up to the top of the second round where the Steelers sat at No. 32 overall thanks to a shrewd trade with the Chicago Bears.
Of course, that trade sent wide receiver Chase Claypool to the Windy City for Chicago’s second-round pick. Down the stretch, the Bears lost every game and finished with the worst record in the NFL, giving them the first pick in every round of the draft.
That Claypool trade gave the Steelers the first pick to open the second round, and though the Steelers ultimately sat tight and selected Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. at No. 32 overall, Khan revealed in a one-on-one interview with Steelers.com Spanish broadcaster Alvaro Martin that the Steelers had between “eight or nine teams” that were interested in moving up to No. 32 overall.
“I think what surprised me a little bit, we’ve never been in that situation, but in the second round when we had the first pick, I thought there were going to be maybe two or three teams interested in moving up and being in the first position, but I was surprised how many teams,” Khan said, according to video via Steelers.com. “It was like eight or nine teams that were interested and we had some good offers. But in the end we decided that we’d better stay there, we selected Joey Porter Jr., who was a player that we were really interested in.”
With quarterbacks Will Levis and Hendon Hooker still on the board to open the second round, it was understandable that the Steelers were going to get a few calls interested in the No. 32 overall pick, which could have realistically created a bidding war for the pick, should the Steelers have been interested in moving the pick for more draft capital.
Like Khan said though, eight or nine teams calling with interest to move up though is a bit of a surprise. We’ll never know what the offers truly were, but if Khan says they were good offers, they were likely going to be quite a haul for the Steelers.
It says quite a bit about Porter that the Steelers turned down all those offers, stayed at the pick and selected the guy they had targeted all along, addressing a major need on the roster in the process.