Steelers Draft Digest: Joey Porter Jr. to Steelers?
A top cornerback that could be on the Steelers draft board declares for the 2023 NFL Draft and a familiar name gets mocked to Pittsburgh.
🏈: Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III is officially in the 2023 NFL Draft after declaring. The 5-foot-10 cornerback was a finalist for the Jim Thrope Award (Best DB in College Football) and racked up six interceptions on the season, the second-most in the NCAA. Phillips plays both on the outside and nickel spots. He currently is mocked to be a Top 50 draft pick. With the Steelers potentially having three picks inside the Top-50, and Phillips’ skillset, he is a name to watch for the Black and Gold as the process carries on.
🏈: Auburn running back Tank Bigsby has declared for the 2023 NFL Draft in an Instagram Post on Monday. Bigsby is one of the first of the top running back prospects to declare. In 2022, Bigsby averaged 5.4 yards per carry after putting up 970 yards and 10 touchdowns on 179 carries. As of now, Bigsby is slated to go somewhere in the second or third-round range.
🏈: In a mock draft done by Keith Sanchez of the Draft Network, the Steelers land Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr., the son of former Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter. They selected him with the 13th overall pick.
“There are many reasons why this is the right pick for the Steelers,” Sanchez wrote. “First, they need help in their secondary as they have aging veterans who are simply not getting the job done consistently. Second, the familiarity of the bloodline is a positive. While Mike Tomlin is looking to turn this roster into a new era, he needs to find players who are tough, gritty, and fit the Steelers’ culture. Joey Porter Jr., the son of a Steelers great, has been around the organization for many years and knows exactly what it means to be a Steeler.”
Porter is a consensus first-round pick at this point, with many of the picks coming inside the Top-20. A North Allegheny alumni, Porter Jr. played in the Pittsburgh area. Porter did not allow a touchdown on 30 targets in 2022. He declared for the 2023 NFL Draft on November 30th.
🏈: Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman has declared for the 2023 NFL Draft. Tillman, who will forego his COVID year with the declaration, put up 417 yards in six games while missing action due to injury. After developing a strong connection with Hendon Hooker, Tillman will now take his talents to the NFL. The 6-foot-3 receiver plays mostly on the outside, and the Steelers draft personnel saw him live when they attended the Pitt-Tenneessee game in September. In that game, Tillman caught the game-winning touchdown for the Volunteers in overtime. He is currently ranked as a potential Top-50 selection.
🏈: The Steelers currently own the 13th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft after Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens. They still hold the 34th overall pick after the trade for Chase Claypool by the Chicago Bears.
🏈: Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright accepted a Senior Bowl invite on Monday. Wright is considered a Top-100 tackle after playing for the Volunteers and stonewalling most that went up against him. His mobility and length will make teams drawn to him. With the Steelers in the market for a tackle, Wright, who could go early, is someone to watch for Pittsburgh down in Mobile.
🏈: Ohio State edge rusher Zach Harrison accepted a Senior Bowl invite on Monday. Harrison’s burst and bend are two traits that stick out immediately, and he fits well in a 3-4 outside linebacker role. Pittsburgh could be in the market for an outside linebacker for edge reasons, and Harrison stands to be a player who could rise up boards with a strong draft process.