Updated: Jan 13
By Adam Aniba
This year's cornerback draft class features a diverse set of prospects. Penn State University's Joey Porter Jr might be the most intriguing though. Cornerbacks with his combination of speed/length are a premium in the NFL and highly coveted.
Joey Porter Jr
6'2" 194 lbs | CB | PSU
1st Rd Grade
Career (34 games) 113 TAK (86 solo), 2.0 TFL, 1 INT, 20 PD, 1 FR
& 2 FF
2022 (10 games) 27 total tak (21 solo), 11 PD, 3.5 TFL & 1 FR
Porter Jr. was born Bakersfield, CA but played his first two years of high school football at North Catholic High School in Cranberry Township, Butler County, PA. After lettering in two consecutive seasons, he transferred to North Allegheny Senior High School in Wexford, PA.
Porter played CB/S and WR for North Allegheny during his junior and senior seasons. As a junior he recorded 26 tackles, 7 interceptions and 3 pass breakups. As a senior he was named a team captain, recording 22 tackles with 3 interceptions and 4 passes defended. He also recorded 11 receptions for 186 yards and 3 touchdowns in '18.
During his final season, Porter helped lead his team to a 10-1 record and to the Quad County Conference Class 6A title. His efforts led to the 2018 Mr. Football Big School Award and was named to the All-USA Pennsylvania Football Team first team by USA Today. He also lettered in track & field 4 times.
Porter was rated a 4-star prospect by 247Sports & ESPN and was the No. 4 prospect in Pennsylvania. He was recruited by multiple big time programs, but ultimately selected PSU.
During his first season for the Nittany Lions he was active in 4 games and was 1 of 19 tue freshman to see action. In '20 Porter Jr was redshirted earning All-Big Ten third team honors from the media and honorable mention from the coaches, after recording 33 tackles (24 solo), 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 4 pass breakups.
In '21 the Nittany Lions corner would have his most impactful season in the Big Ten, making 13 starts and recording 51 tackles (40 solo), 1 forced fumble, 1 interception and 4 pass breakups. Once again he was named All-Big Ten third team and earned PSU's Defensive Player of the Week following his performance vs Auburn game (9/18).
The word was out on Porter Jr with QB's avoiding his side of the field, after giving up a QB rating when targeted of 84.7 in '21. In '22 Porter was a mid-season Jim Thorpe Award and Chuck Bednarik Award semifinalists with a career high 11 breakups. The lack of interceptions during his career are a bit of a concern, but his tape reveals a physical corner that could be an even better pro defensive back.
Displays the speed and elite athleticism to quickly recover if out of position
Extremely physical in one-on-one situations with bigger receivers
Overall length/long arms allow him to disrupt passing lanes
Although primarily utilized in press/man-to-man displays the ability to play in space in a variety of zone schemes
Disciplined eyes with impressive instincts when the ball is in the air, particularly when challenging 50/50 balls
Only 1 career interception
Would like to see him play more in control vs the run
Tackling technique needs refinement (minor concern)
Coaches will need to work with the CB on his footwork
Needs some work with his backpedal/transition when dropping hips(minor concern)
In '22 Porter Jr. saw significant gains in coverage and improved his overall mechanics as a defensive back. The PSU cornerback opted out of bowl game to prepare for the draft, which was the correct decision considering he's viewed as a Top 30 prospect by most scouting outlets.
Some evaluators will note that Porter Jr. is scheme specific and should be strictly utilized in press man or even converted to safety. Although those are fair points, the PSU cornerback has displayed the ability to adjust on the fly and his length make him the most intriguing CB prospect in the class.
Although raw in a few areas, his overall skill-set should appeal to NFL teams, who will get an opportunity to mold him with only a few bad habits to overcome.
*GAMES WATCHED- 9/1/22 vs Purdue, 9/17 vs Auburn, 9/24 vs C.Michigan, 10/15 vs Michigan, 10/22 vs Minnesota, 10/29 vs Ohio St., 11/5 vs Indiana & 11/26 vs Michigan St.
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