Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. has spent time in the Steelers’ locker room and gone one-on-one against former receiver Antonio Brown. He already has a relationship with coach Mike Tomlin, too, having played with Tomlin’s son, Dino, at North Catholic High School.
Being drafted by the Steelers would mean staying home.
“I think it would probably mean a lot for me and my family, being in the Pittsburgh area for a little bit now,” Porter said. “Staying at home would mean a lot.”
The Steelers selected Porter’s father, Joey Sr., in the third round of the 1999 draft, and he spent eight seasons in Pittsburgh. Porter also served as an assistant coach with the Steelers from 2015-18.
Porter Jr. is expected to become the first Penn State defensive back ever selected in the first round. He could go even higher than the Steelers’ 17th pick in the first round.
Five cornerbacks could hear their names in the first round, with Porter, Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez and Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon at the top of draft boards at the position.
“I feel like I’m CB1 for a reason,” Porter said. “I feel like I’m the best corner here, so I’m just here to really show my talents and prove why.”
Some mock drafts project one of the Steelers’ rivals, the Ravens, to select Porter at No. 22. Porter said he will be excited by whoever drafts him.
“I really never had no ill will toward Baltimore,” Porter said. “That was probably more of my dad and since his whole rivalry with them. I just love the game of football, so if I end up there, that would be a blessing.”