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Joey Porter Jr. is keeping the chip on his shoulder after being a 2nd Round pick

Go back to the 2023 NFL Draft and you’ll remember the run on cornerbacks which took place in Round 1. As cornerback was a primary need for the Pittsburgh Steelers, fans everywhere watched and wondered if the Steelers would take one with their 1st Round pick.

They didn’t.

Holding the first pick in the 2nd Round, Joey Porter Jr. remained on the board. Would they trade the pick, or take the son of former Steelers great Joey Porter?

They made their pick, taking the Penn State product and watching him blossom throughout his rookie season. But don’t let a good rookie season fool you into thinking Porter doesn’t keep falling to the 2nd Round in the back of his mind. He uses it as a source of motivation.

“It still gets under my skin sometimes,” Porter told the Steelers official website. “I felt like I was CB1 for sure, and it didn’t pan out that way. And luckily it didn’t pan out that way because I ended up here. I feel like it was worth it.

“I feel like it elevated my game even more because I came into the league with a chip on my shoulder to prove myself. I feel like I’m still proving myself every day when I step on the field. I don’t feel like I am there yet. I have a lot to learn.”

If you are like me, you have the logical follow up question of when this chip might leave Porter Jr.’s shoulder?

“I got to win a couple of rings for that to go away,” said Porter.

Porter had a great rookie season, one where he was in the running for the Defensive Player of the Year award. While he didn’t win the award, he knows the way the Steelers handled him early in the season was the right move. Despite the fan base clamoring for him to see the field over Levi Wallace, the Steelers slow rolled him being in the starting lineup. Porter now sees the value in how the Steelers handled his rookie season.

“If I played Week 1, I don’t know how my body would feel. I am glad they slowed the process down for me.”

Porter knows Year 2 will be big for him, and he will need to continue to work. He feels as if his game has come a long way, but he is far from being a finished product.

“I feel like there are a lot of areas that I need to work on, and I am still working on,” said Porter. “Overall, I have grown as a player. I am happy where I am and there is still work to do.”

Porter Jr. will be called upon to be an even larger part of the Steelers defense in 2024, but the question will be who is going to be playing opposite of him. Will it be a free agent? Another rookie? Someone like Cory Trice or Darius Rush? Only time will tell, but it’s a safe bet that the Steelers got a good one in Round 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the 2024 offseason.


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