Joey Porter Jr. 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Son of former Pittsburgh Steelers rush LB Joey Porter (98.0 career sacks)
- His two cousins also have logged NFL experience, Jason Gildon and Larry Birdine Jr., plus another (Sheldon Croney Jr.) who plays at Iowa State
- Four-year letterman in track and field in high school
- Scheme tendencies: Even front, gap control principles, variety of coverage shells
- 2022 projected role: Starting cornerback
Pros: Joey Porter Jr. might be the longest cornerback in the country. He’s got incredible reach and influence inside the contact window and at the line of scrimmage. For someone who is still so inexperienced at the college level, it is exciting to think about what additional untapped potential awaits Porter Jr. as he collects more experience and adds more tools to his toolbox to pair with his athletic potential. There will be some advocates of moving Porter Jr. to safety at the next level, and while I’d personally advocate for him in a scheme-specific environment to stay in press-man on the outside, you’d certainly raise his floor as a prospect by kicking him inside to play safety. Porter Jr. offers effective tackling and a massive tackling radius for such opportunities and has plenty of juice as a striker in run support. But the ceiling to play on the outside is undeniable, particularly when watching him flip his hips and carry routes while engaged on the frame of receivers to go stride for stride and squeeze his man outside the red line. Top-flight physical tools, untapped potential, and bright flashes of physical dominance (and effort) are reasons to buy in.
Cons: Penn State asked Joey Porter Jr. to play off a fair amount in the games that I studied and it did highlight some of the lag in transitional quickness that he’s bound to suffer from by playing in space. Off-man isn’t where Porter Jr. is going to win and if you’re looking to play him in Cover 3, asking him to half-turn or play as the ‘Cloud’ cornerback would accentuate his strengths better than asking him to pedal and play soft zone over the top. His strides are long, so getting a rapid reaction to the quick game isn’t a realistic expectation to set. Porter Jr.’s other big area of emphasis will be anticipation and ability to ID the football in the air. He conceded a touchdown to Ohio State WR Chris Olave in 2020 that was dropped right on the top of his helmet but he never managed to react to hands or get his eyes back to the ball. If Porter Jr. can develop those skills and add further refinement to his footwork, we’re talking about an unquestioned candidate to start on the perimeter in the NFL.
Joey Porter Jr. NFL Draft Scouting Report by Kyle Crabbs