Steelers mock draft: Connecting the dots with Pittsburgh's interests

Steelers, Joey Porter Jr.
Steelers, Joey Porter Jr. / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
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The bulk of the Steelers free agency moves have been made, and this team is full steam ahead into the draft process. This roster still has a ton of needs, and the team needs to use its resources as best as it can to make this roster more complete for this upcoming season. From instant starters to developmental backups, this team needs talent.

I put on my detective hat for this mock draft and tried to link some clear-cut prospects of interest to this Steelers draft. Pittsburgh has historically been pretty upfront about who they are interested in, and this season seems no different. Even though these aren’t my favorite prospects or best fits, this mock draft is dedicated to connecting the dots with players the team is clearly interested in.

player. . Penn St.. Joey Porter Jr.. 1. . CB. 491

Steelers mock draft round 1: CB Joey Porter Jr.

It was an easy name to project for the Steelers given his dad having played and coached for the team. Joey Porter Jr. was a hot prospect before the pre-draft process began, and Pittsburgh has been all over him throughout this offseason.

Porter is far from a refined player, but he has the traits to be an elite man-coverage cornerback at the next level. From a perfect build to impressively long arms to elite athleticism, Porter is the mold of what you want in a modern outside cornerback.

He took his game to the next level this past season, refining his technique and becoming a better coverage cornerback overall. The ball skills haven’t been there, but he contests the catch regularly and shut down some of the top receivers in college. He still needs to get more comfortable in zone and his run support is lacking, but Porter has the potential to be a top back if he takes the necessary next steps.

I do think there is a lot of projection here, and I wouldn’t want Porter starting right out of camp unless he earned that role. That said, he would have an all-time great in Patrick Peterson mentoring him which would be huge for his development. It may take some patience and some early mistakes, but the team seemingly loves Porter and he makes sense in the first round if he is available.