Well, that sure was anticlimactic. For what seemed like the first time in modern NFL history, the Steelers found themselves in a perceived position of power during the league's annual shopping spree, sitting with the first overall selection of the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
What an enviable position to be in, holding a selection that multiple teams assuredly must be coveting. Imaginations ran wild formulating the potential windfall of additional picks the Steelers could possibly acquire by trading the pick. I was giddy with anticipation.
Sadly, an issue happened on the way to my dream scenario. Nobody really wanted the pick as badly as so many of us anticipated. Nobody offered the Steelers enough to tickle their fancy, so the Steelers held their ground and made the selection. In doing so, they basically got the player they wanted all along. What a Steelers type thing to do. Who would have thought?
I have been given the distinguished task of trying to apply a letter grade to each Steelers selection.
There are specific criteria necessary when attempting to accurately and fairly grade any draft pick. Only time will reveal the validity of any grade given, but I will utilize certain parameters as I attempt to apply an initial grade for each Steelers draft pick. I base each grade on projected roster fit, potential immediate impact, and assumed draft value. Draft value is achieved by evaluating each players actual selection against their projected draft position, whether that be player rankings or projected round.
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr with the 32nd selection of the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Steelers drafting Joey Porter Jr only makes sense, and not just because his daddy was a Steelers standout outside linebacker for 8 seasons. Junior has an unique familiarity with Mike Tomlin and the organization. There is a comfort level between the two that normally takes time to develop.
Beyond that, Porter Jr was one of the best prospects in this draft class at a serious area of need for the franchise. Porter stands 6'2" and weighs a solid 193 lbs. He possesses excellent length for the position, evidenced by his 34" long arms. Porter ran a 4.46 forty at the Combine, and produced solid explosive measurables.
Porter is a very physical cornerback, both against the run and in pass coverage. He is an enthusiastic tackler, where he utilizes his superior reach to wrap up ball carriers. Porter relies on his long arms frequently in pass coverage, both to hinder and disrupt routes, and to deflect passes.
Porter has CB1 type athleticism and intangibles, but he will need to clean up his technique to reach his full potential. His "hands on" tendencies that were overlooked in college could result in numerous penalties at the NFL level. NFL veteran receivers will be sure to spotlight his tactics. That is concerning, but there is good news on the horizon.
Recent free agent addition Patrick Peterson is the perfect mentor for young apprentice Porter. Peterson has mastered all the tricks of the trade throughout his glorious career, and he is willing and able to teach what he has learned to his young understudy.
I remember pointing out that possibility on numerous podcasts immediately after Peterson's acquisition. You got to love it when a plan comes together. Hopefully Peterson can also help Porter improve his ball hawking skills, something that was basically nonexistent during his tenure with the Nittany Lions.
Based on the criteria mentioned earlier in this article, I give the Steelers second round selection of Joey Porter Jr an initial draft grade of A.
Now we want to hear from the BTSC community and from Steelers Nation. What do you think about the selection and what initial grade would you give it. Please place your vote in the attached poll and share your reasoning in the comment section below.
I am pleased to welcome Joey Porter Jr to the Steelers family on behalf of the BTSC staff and community. Welcome home, young man. Go, Steelers!
What initial draft grade would you give the Steelers second round selection of Joey Porter Jr?
This poll is closed
A = Excellent selection
B = Solid selection
C = Average selection
D = Below average selection
F = Terrible selection