PITTSBURGH (WTAJ) — After the Pittsburgh Steelers traded up to no. 14 to take offensive tackle Broderick Jones Thursday, many presumed a coveted Joey Porter Jr. homecoming had passed fans by. But still available when the Steelers kicked-off the second round, Pittsburgh brought a son home.
“When it was on the clock and then the time was winding down, I was like, dang, they might not get me,” Porter Jr. said Friday. “But then I see a 412 number pop up and I’m OK, I’m coming home.”
Porter grew up in the Steel City, watching his dad become an all-time Steeler great. Joey Porter Sr. played seven of his 13-year career with the Steelers and helped Pittsburgh win Super Bowl XL. A win Joey Porter enjoyed on the field by his dad’s side.
“It’s going to be my flavor to it. It’s me. It’s not him,” Porter Jr. said. “He understands that. It’s my time to shine. He did what he had to do, and it’s my time right now. And I’m I don’t get the fans attention with that. And I’m going to play hardball.”
Porter Jr. commited to Penn State out of Wexford High School in Pittsburgh. As a Nittany Lion, he recorded 19 career passes defended, including a program record six against Purdue in the team’s opening day win. But with one career interception Steelers Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin admitted Porter’s hands have question marks, but his length is undeniable.
“That length is an issue because he does have a long and big radius to be able to get back to a ball with that. He may look like he’s out of position. And so I think he’s got a lot of really good NFL traits,” Austin said after the pick. “We know the issue in terms of he has lack of ball production, but that is always something that you can work on.”
The Pittsburgh reunion almost never materialized. Despite being wildly connected to the Steelers in mock drafts, when the team passed on Porter Thursday it looked like the corner would go elsewhere, perhaps New England or Washington. Instead, Porter fell out of the first round in what turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“Last night, I was I was mad. I had an edge on me and this is this is the perfect way to end my day right here,” Porter Jr. said. “I just forgot all about last night. And sure, I’m ready and I got a chip on my shoulder. I’m trying to prove myself.”