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Mel Kiper Jr. Has Pittsburgh Taking Son of Steelers Legend in First Round of 2023 NFL Draft

By Kaiden Smith,

(Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper recently released the first edition of his mock draft for the 2023 NFL Draft. Kiper’s mock featured an exciting pick for the Pittsburg Steelers with the No. 17 pick, selecting a face that’s familiar with the franchise.

“Like father, like son in Pittsburgh?” Kiper asked. “The Steelers drafted linebacker Joey Porter in the third round in 1999, and they have a need for his son in 2023.”

Kiper projects that the Steelers will select Penn State corner Joey Porter Jr. with their first-round pick, who is the son of Steelers legend Joey Porter Sr. Family ties do hold some value in the draft evaluation process, but Kiper is convinced that Porter Jr. may be exactly what the Steelers need.

“Porter is an aggressive 6-foot-2 corner who was a three-year starter for the Nittany Lions. He picked off just one pass in his career, but he had 11 pass breakups in 2022, so he gets his hands on the football when it’s headed in his direction. The Steelers likely will be hoping one of the top offensive tackles drops to them, and they could also target a defensive tackle,” Kiper said.

Like Father Like Son

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Joey Porter Sr. in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft out of Colorado State. He played in the NFL for 13 seasons, most noted for his eight-year stint with the Steelers. Porter helped lead them to a Super Bowl victory in 2006 as a member of their elite defense. He was also a five-time All-Pro team selection, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, and a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. He’s currently coaches for the XFL’s San Antonio Brahmas, but spent five seasons on the Steeler’s coaching staff previously.

Porter Jr. was a highly recruited prospect out of high school, signing t0 Penn State in 2019. In four seasons with the Nittany Lions, he made 115 tackles and broke up 17 passes. He also recorded a single sack and an interception. He established himself as one of the top corners in this year’s draft, but regardless of who drafts him, he’ll have big shoes to fill.

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