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2023 NFL Draft

‘Not Relevant’: Mike Tomlin Shrugs Off Obvious Joey Porter Jr. Connections



Mel Blount Steelers Draft Joey Porter Jr.

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers have been attached to the hip of Joey Porter Jr. throughout the NFL Draft process thanks to plenty of media hype along with the natural connections between the Steelers and himself. However, don’t tell that to Mike Tomlin or make it significant.

“There’s guys for me in every draft, particularly in recent years, that I have a similar background with,” Tomlin said. “Maybe, they’re Pittsburgh guys or they are in a similar age group to my sons. You know, the Skyy Moore discussion a year ago or D Ham (Damar Hamlin) or the guys that play next door. I know all of those 412s because I’ve been a part of this community for so long, I’ve essentially watched those guys grow up… it’s not as unique as you would like to make it, but I’m sure you are gonna make it so. But there’s a handful of those guys for a variety of reasons in recent years that make that less relevant from my perspective.”

That does not mean that Joey Porter Jr. will not be the Steelers‘ pick at 17th overall. In fact, it could mean the exact opposite. But Porter Jr. and Tomlin know it’s business and that there is a set expectation of such in the league. He came to the Steelers facility for a meeting as well, but none of that matters to Porter. He wants to go to the best place for him and the Steelers want to get the best player. If those happen to mesh, it could happen, especially with the history of the two sides.

“I haven’t seen Coach Tomlin in a while because I’ve been at Penn State and taking care of my business, and same as him. It was a good reunion to see him and see the staff there. I’ve been going there since I was a kid and I saw a lot of old faces. You know, I already knew the facility.” Porter Jr. said of the visit.

Expect this to be talked about until either it happens or Porter Jr. comes off the board. Not only does the team need a cornerback, but they could use one in the vein of Porter Jr. So, to say the least, connections or not, don’t be surprised if this does end up happening. It just might not happen because of the natural connections that are all there on the surface.

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