Joey Porter Jr. Has Strong Chance to Unite With Childhood Icon With Steelers

jersey swap art: Burgh Creative Joey Porter Jr. admired Patrick Peterson growing up.

It’s not every day an incoming rookie has the opportunity to take the field with a player he admires. But it will happen if the Pittsburgh Steelers take Joey Porter Jr. in the 2023 NFL draft.

When asked during his NFL Scouting Combine interview on March 2 who respected most growing up, “Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson,” Porter said. “Those are the two OGs that I really looked up to.”

And now there’s a possibility Peterson will be his mentor. A situation that would check one of the boxes of why the Steelers brought in the eight-time Pro Bowl corner. The 32-year-old has been around the block a few times and will share anything and everything the corp wants to soak up.

Former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden brought the two together for the April 24 All Things Covered podcast he hosts with Peterson.

“How crazy would it be for us to be teammates?” Peterson asked Porter.

“That would be dope. I already know you got a lot of knowledge on the game. I’m just going to be asking you a lot of questions if that happens. That would be exciting,” said Porter. oddsmaker Adam Thompson released his futures odds for each team’s first-round pick, with Joey Porter Jr. leading the pack of specific players at +250 or 20 percent probability. Odds are slightly higher, though, for “the field” at +240  meaning Thompson predicts the Steelers will take a player other than the five guys listed.

Mike Tomlin on Steelers’ Interest in Joey Porter Jr.

Mike Tomlin pointed out that his connection with Porter isn’t as unique as the media has been making it out to be. “There’s guys in every draft, particularly for me in recent years, that I have similar background with,” Tomlin said in the April 24 pre-draft press conference. “Maybe the Pittsburgh guys. Maybe they’re in a similar age group as my sons. The Skyy Moore discussion a year ago. D Ham [Damar Hamlin]. The guys that played next door. All the 412s.”

Moore, drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2022, won a Super Bowl ring as a rookie. He’s a Pittsburgh area native and, like Porter, went to high school with Tomlin’s son Dino. Hamlin, well known for his cardiac arrest episode on January 2, was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 2021 NFL draft. He’s a McKees Rocks, PA native and played at Pitt with Kenny Pickett.

“Because I’ve been a part of this community so long, I’ve essentially watched those generations of guys grow up. Seeing them play little league football, high school football. I’ve probably met them at some point during their development because guys like me meet talented young athletes. It’s not as unique as you would like to make it. I’m sure you are going to make it, but man, there’s a handful of those guys for a variety of reasons, particularly in recent years as I mentioned, that kind of make that a less relevant and less significant story from my perspective.”

Former Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald and New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (among others) are Pittsburgh natives that Tomlin watched grow up through sports.