Joey Porter Jr. looked devastated when his name wasn’t called on the first night of the 2023 NFL Draft.
But as soon as the first round was over, his father, legendary former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter Sr., tried to make sure his son understood he had done nothing wrong.
“They want to see a pissed off footballer? Now they have one,” Porter Sr. told his son tonight. “Now you’ve been motivated to another level because we have something to prove. Take it personal. Like you should. But you didn’t do anything…you did everything you were supposed to do.”
Beyond the acclaim of being a top 31 pick, Porter Sr. later revealed his son wanted to attend the first round because his father was born in Kansas City, Missouri, where the draft took place. place. So when Porter Jr. found out he wouldn’t be selected in the first round, Porter Sr. said he quickly saw his son blaming himself.
“When it didn’t happen, I saw him pressuring himself like he did something wrong,” Porter said on “Everything is covered” with NFL cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden. “For me, personally, I just wanted to help him control the feelings that he was having because he felt like he let somebody down. And I was like, ‘Man, that’s not the problem. ‘”
However, Porter Jr. didn’t have to wait long to be cast. And he couldn’t have landed in a better place, as the Steelers, who drafted Porter Sr. in the third round of the 1999 draft, took Porter Jr. with the No. 32 pick – the first second-round pick after The Miami Dolphins lost their first round pick.
Porter Sr. played his first 13 NFL seasons with the Steelers, where he won three Pro Bowls and a first-team All-Pro. He ranks seventh all-time in sacks for the Steelers, fourth in forced fumbles and 22nd in tackles.
Porter Jr. joins a busy Steelers secondary with eight-time Pro Bowl and three-time All-Pro Peterson, who signed with the Steelers after two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings following an 11-year career with the Arizona Cardinals, and three-time Pro Bowl safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Pittsburgh’s first seven are led by linebackers TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith and veteran defensive tackle Cameron Heyward.