As someone often tells me (or I tell them) in one of those online arguments that go nowhere, my argument may be a bit disingenuous.
It would be silly and naive of me to think that scouts didn’t originally hear the name Joey Porter Jr. and think, “Peezy’s kid? He certainly has the pedigree to be a fine NFL prospect.”
Yes, being the son of a famous NFL player, Joey Porter Sr., certainly helped to put Peezy Jr. on the map. It got him on the radar of those aforementioned scouts.
Heck, it may have even influenced college coaches when it came to offering him a scholarship to a big-time school in the first place.
However, if Porter didn’t do anything over his four years at Penn State—the big-time school that he chose—those NFL scouts wouldn’t have given two darns about who his daddy was.
That brings me to the Steelers, the NFL team Porter Jr.’s dad played on for eight years and coached on for another five seasons.
Do you think the Steelers are intrigued by Porter’s history with the team and the fact that he helped lead the organization to a victory in Super Bowl XL? I have no doubt about that.
Having said that, the Steelers CAN be influenced by Porter Jr.’s dad AND he CAN be a legitimate cornerback prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft.
I might have the definition wrong, but those two things aren’t mutually exclusive.
I bring this up because I have seen this concern thrown around a lot by Steelers fans in the lead-up to this year’s draft.
To paraphrase, the concern goes something like this, “I fear the Steelers are blinded by the fact that Porter’s dad played for them and will feel the urge to draft his kid at 17.”
Again, maybe Porter’s family history will have something to do with why the Steelers draft him, but it won’t be the only reason. If that were the case, the Steelers would be the lone team that has Porter Jr. rated highly on its draft board. But last I checked, Porter seems to be rated highly on every team’s draft board, same with just about every outlet and person analyzing the 2023 NFL Draft.
Why would Pro Football Focus be influenced by Porter’s family lineage?
More importantly, why would the Commanders and Ravens, just two teams said to be possible landing spots for Porter on Thursday evening, give two damns about Joey Porter Sr.? For all we know, Baltimore selecting Porter Jr. may cause Ray Lewis to finally jump off that team bus and fight Peezy.
The Steelers might love Porter’s father, but the rest of the NFL could care less.
The NFL is a multi-billion-dollar business.
The stakes are high. The fallout from a bad draft pick is often catastrophic enough to cost general managers and coaches their livelihoods.
Finally, it’s like they say, ball don’t lie.
If Porter wasn’t a legit prospect, he wouldn’t be ranked in the teens on every draft big board.
As it pertains to the Steelers, there may be a sentimental component to why they may draft Joey Porter Jr. on Thursday night, but that wouldn’t make him a bad choice.