Omar Khan Confirms Steelers Had Multiple ‘Strong’ Offers To Trade Out Of #32 But Team Wanted Joey Porter Jr.

It was the NFL’s worst-kept secret but the Pittsburgh Steelers’ phone was ringing off the hook basically until 7 PM Friday night. Sitting at the top of the second round holding the 32nd-overall pick with two top quarterbacks available, the Steelers were flooded with trade offers to give up that selection and move back in the draft.

Joining 102.5 DVE’s morning show Wednesday, GM Omar Khan discussed the team’s process of listening to picks for #32 and the decision to stay and select Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr.

“We had multiple offers, really good value offers,” Khan told the show Wednesday. “But at the end of the day, I think it just came down to did we want to trade away from that pick and risk losing Joey Porter Jr.? Who we had rated pretty high on our board.”

Throughout Friday afternoon, multiple reports indicated the Steelers were “mulling” offers to move out of the pick. Reportedly there were four to five teams in the mix including the Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Las Vegas Raiders, and Washington Commanders. Most of those teams looking to come up and grab a quarterback. And once the Steelers turned in the card at #32, the Tennessee Titans struck a deal with the Arizona Cardinals at #33, giving up pick #41, #72, and next year’s third round pick in exchange for #33 and #81. Presumably, the offer to Pittsburgh was under the same terms, except the Steelers would send #32 and #80 to Tennessee.

Khan says the team discussed trading back until the very last second.

“We had some good offers. They were strong and we considered them very hard. I think the draft started at seven o’clock on Friday…and it was 6:55 and we were still communicating,” he said. “But at the end of the day, we talked about it and we just didn’t want to trade away from Joey.”

Porter was in contention to be the Steelers pick at #17. And had Pittsburgh not jumped up in the first round to grab OT Broderick Jones, the Steelers would’ve almost certainly grabbed a corner in the first round. The choice would’ve come down to two names: Porter or Maryland’s Deonte Banks, which would’ve been an interesting decision to see the team make. Ultimately, the board fell perfectly for Pittsburgh, which got its left tackle at 14 and then a first-round corner at #32.

Pittsburgh is big on familiarity and bloodlines, something Porter Jr. brought both of to the table. And Khan shared the story of his relationship with Joey Porter Sr. and the kindness he showed to Khan, a New Orleans native who left his job with the Saints in 2001 to come to Pittsburgh, early in his career

“I just remember like my first year here in 2001, it was Thanksgiving. He was in his second year, he knew that I was from out of town…Joey came up to my office and I still remember this, and he came in my office and says, ‘Hey, it’s Thanksgiving this week. I’m hosting some people at my house. Hey, you can’t be alone. You’ve got a place in my house for Thanksgiving if you want.'”

Khan already had plans and declined the invitation but it’s another point to illustrate the tight-knit nature of the Steelers organization, especially back in those days. Those are moments that stick with people, they certainly stuck with Khan, and tells you all you need to know about the character of the Porters.

While Khan has done things differently in his first draft class, one thing that remains the same is the goal to draft good and high-character people. No one has said a bad thing about Porter Jr. or anyone in Pittsburgh’s draft class. That doesn’t guarantee NFL success but it sets the foundation for each player to reach his potential. And drafting bloodlines has certainly worked well before for the Steelers.

Again, you can catch the whole interview at the link here. 

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