Joey Porter Jr. Has Had A Monumental Impact On Former Teammate And Potential Pittsburgh Draft Pick

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off one of their best drafts in recent memory in 2023. First round pick Broderick Jones seems to be a staple of the offensive line for years to come, and Joey Porter Jr. was a finalist for Defensive Rookie Of The Year for his play during the 2023 season. Porter Jr. is the lockdown corner the Steelers have been needing, and the organization is looking for his running mate in the 2024 NFL Draft. Their top two picks are slated at 20th and 51st overall, which are prime spots to get one of the top cornerback prospects.

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Steelers’ Joey Porter Jr. Has Been Mentoring One Of The Top Corner Prospects In The 2024 Draft

The Steelers selected Porter Jr. with the 32nd overall pick in 2023 out of Penn State, and now Pittsburgh will be in a great position to pick his former teammate, Kalen King. King played alongside Porter Jr. during the 2021 and 2022 college football seasons, and he has spoken before about how he would love the opportunity to reunite with his college teammate. Porter Jr. went through the draft process just a year ago, and King shared at the NFL Combine that Porter Jr. has been mentoring him as he tries to make a name for himself.

“I talked to him about this process many times before actually being here. I talk to him all the time, so he was definitely giving me tips on what to expect, what do to, what not to do – things of that nature.”

During Porter Jr.’s last season at Penn State in 2022, King played corner on the opposite side of the field with him on 474 snaps. The two obviously have an existing relationship, and trust one another to make the right play. This is a great reason why the Steelers are attracted to King, and already had an informal meeting with him at the Senior Bowl.

The duo played together in college for two seasons, and King began looking up to Porter Jr. when he first arrived on campus in 2021. Porter Jr. is a year older than King, and King tried to soak up as much knowledge as possible from Porter Jr. during their days together at Penn State. King spoke about their relationship during college at the NFL Combine.

“Joey’s my dog. He was my guy for sure. Ever since I stepped on campus, I seen Joey and the type of guy he was and the way he approached the game. I feel like I was almost like a sponge to him. I made sure I was always around him, I’m always asking questions, always taking bits and pieces that he used and try to implement it in my game.”

King played his best in college while he was on the field with Porter Jr. In the duos last season together in 2022, King received an overall grade of 89 from Pro Football Focus. He allowed a passer rating of 48.9 and had three interceptions, returning one of them for a touchdown. King struggled in his last college season in 2023, which was his first without Porter Jr., as he allowed a passer rating of 82.4, while giving up completions on over 50 percent of his targets.

King has shown he is still very much a raw talent, as he struggled some during the Senior Bowl. He is projected to be a day two selection, likely in the back half of the second round or towards the beginning of the third round. The Steelers will be in a good spot to land him if they want to, as they have the 51st and 84th overall picks, which land in the second and third rounds.

Despite his struggles in his last season in college, King has shown he can still be a high-level cornerback, and playing opposite of Porter Jr. again could be just what he needs at the next level.

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