Steelers Meet With CB Joey Porter Jr.

Like Kenny Pickett last year, the Steelers are plenty familiar with Joey Porter Jr. The son of the longtime Pittsburgh linebacker nevertheless went through the official process of a pre-draft visit with the team, Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes.

The younger Porter is one of the top cornerbacks available in this year’s class, but because of the Penn State product’s local ties, the 6-foot-2 defender does not count against the Steelers’ 30 allotted pre-draft visits. Porter has been training at the team facility at points during the pre-draft run-up, per Rutter, working with his father in advance of a near-certain first-round selection. The Steelers had a chance to study Pickett up close, with the quarterback having played at Pitt; Porter attended high school in the Pittsburgh area before his Nittany Lions run.

Porter Sr. — a 1999 third-round Steelers pick — spent eight seasons with the franchise, collecting a Super Bowl ring as a starting linebacker for the 2005 team. The brash defender later served on Mike Tomlin‘s staff from 2014-18. His son joins Christian Gonzalez (Oregon), Devon Witherspoon (Illinois), Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State) and Deonte Banks (Maryland) as those expected to be first-round picks at the position this year.

Porter declared for the draft after his redshirt-junior season, and although he did not intercept a pass last season, Pro Football Focus charged him with just one 15-plus-yard completion allowed. The second-team All-American deflected a career-high 11 passes last year. ESPN’s Scouts Inc. grades Porter as this year’s No. 19 overall prospect;’s Daniel Jeremiah slots him 15th. Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest mock sends Porter to the Patriots at No. 14 overall and Banks to the Steelers at 17.

The Steelers will be one of the teams connected to corners in Round 1. They let Cameron Sutton walk, not offering him a deal on par with what the Lions proposed, and added Patrick Peterson. But Tomlin is preparing to use Peterson at both corner and safety in his age-33 season. Pittsburgh has Levi Wallace and Ahkello Witherspoon each tied to $4MM-per-year contracts; both pacts expire after the 2023 season.

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