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Joey Porter Jr. draft profile: Scouting report, stats and NFL projection

Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Joey Porter Jr. is on the verge of following in his father’s footsteps to the NFL. Just over a decade after his dad dominated as a punishing and physical linebacker, those same traits can be found in one of the best cornerbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Porter Jr. is part of an enticing class of defensive backs who all projected to be first-round picks on April 27. While he might not be as great of an athlete as Christian Gonzalez nor as technically refined as Devon Witherspoon, plenty of NFL teams will love what he brings to the table.

Related: 2023 NFL mock draft

Before diving into our scouting report and NFL outlook for Porter Jr., here’s a quick rundown of how he measured at the 2023 NFL Combine.

Joey Porter Jr. measurables

  • Joey Porter Jr. height: 6-foot-2.5
  • Joey Porter Jr. weight: 193 pounds
  • Joey Porter Jr. 40 time: 4.46 seconds

Let’s dive into our Joey Porter Jr. scouting report and NFL projection.

Joey Porter Jr stats and background

NCAA Football: Penn State at Wisconsin
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Joey Porter Jr., the son of former NFL linebacker Joey Porter, grew up in Pennsylvania and played both wide receiver and cornerback in high school. Rated as a 247 Sports’ four-star recruit in 2019, he ranked as the 33rd-best cornerback in the nation when he arrived at Penn State.

The Nittany Lions found playing time for him in his freshman season, with the 6-foot-2 defensive back seeing the field in four games. He made a strong impression on the coaching staff, which carried over into a starting role in 2020.

Joey Porter Jr statsTacklesInterceptionsPass deflections
20202404
20213914
202221011
Joey Porter Jr stats via CFR

While Porter Jr. only snagged one interception across 34 career games, he was an excellent three-year starter at Penn State. When opposing quarterbacks attempted to throw at wide receivers in his vicinity, Porter Jr. forced an incompletion on 40 percent of those attempts.

After an outstanding senior season, Porter Jr. solidified his status as a first-round talent in the 2023 NFL Draft. While it will be difficult to match the accomplishments of his father – five All-Pro selections and a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, Porter Jr. can have a bright future in football.

Statistics courtesy of College Football ReferenceESPN, and Pro Football Focus

Joey Porter Jr scouting report

Syndication: York Daily Record
Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

It matters that Porter Jr’s father played in the NFL. While it’s far from a guarantee for success, let alone being an elite athlete, the 22-year-old knows what it takes to play at the highest level. He grew up witnessing his father and other NFL players dedicate countless hours for a decade-plus to being in the best physical shape possible. Just as important, he knows the film preparation and football IQ that are necessary to be great.

Not only does Porter Jr. come from NFL bloodlines, he’s also an excellent athlete. Measured at 6-foot-2, one of his athletic comparables is Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell. In terms of NFL comparisons, Pro Football Focus identifies some similarities to Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis.

There are plenty of other qualities to like about Porter Jr. He nearly measured at an 81-inch wingspan, putting him in elite territory when it comes to length for a cornerback. It allows him to get physical with wide receivers in press-man coverage and helps him knock out potential catches thanks to his long reach.

It should come as no surprise that Porter Jr. plays aggressive football He will use his size and strength to reroute wide receivers, getting them out of position and slowing down the rhythm of the passing offense. If he’s tight in a wide receiver’s pocket or even within a short distance, you can bet on him either deflecting the ball away or making the wide receiver fight tooth and nail to make the grab and there won’t be yards after the catch.

Porter Jr. played man coverage on 45.1 percent of his snaps last season, per PFF, allowing just a 47.4 percent reception rate with 70 receiving yards allowed on 19 targets. However, he wasn’t quite as effective when playing off in zone coverage.

  • Joey Porter Jr (man coverage, 2022): 79.2 PFF grade, 7.8 ypr, 47.5% reception rate, 56.9 QB rating allowed on 19 targets
  • Joey Porter Jr (zone coverage, 2022): 60.8 PFF grade, 12.2 ypr, 66.7% reception rate, 91.4 QB rating allowed on nine targets

Related: NFL stadium rankings 2023

It absolutely matters what team drafts Porter Jr. If he lands in an environment where a coaching staff asks him to play off the ball, giving wide receivers space at the line of scrimmage, his lack of twitch and hip flexibility will be exposed. NFL wide receivers will then be able to avoid him using his strength and physicality, with a free release allowing them to turn him around and burning him vertically. One other thing to keep in mind, even if Porter Jr. lands in a press-heavy scheme, he committed 13 penalties over the last two seasons.

  • Joey Porter Jr draft grade: 81/100
  • Joey Porter Jr. draft projection: Top-25 pick

NFL projection for Joey Porter Jr.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Purdue
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It wouldn’t be surprising if Porter Jr. struggles more in his first season than Gonzalez or Witherspoon. The NFL officiating will be far more strict when it comes to hand-fighting and getting physical with a wide receiver. In addition, Porter Jr. will be facing athletes who are much faster and stronger than anyone he faced in college.

Teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions and New England Patriots and out as enticing fits for Porter Jr. Pittsburgh and Baltimore have excellent track records with physical cornerbacks and both organizations excel at player development.

Detroit has the depth at cornerback to where it wouldn’t need to rush Porter Jr. into a prominent role, while New England’s defense would greatly benefit from adding a cornerback who had the size to match up with bigger-bodied wide receivers.

While we do anticipate a steep learning curve for Porter Jr. at the next level, it doesn’t diminish his long-term outlook. The strength, size, length and mentality all suggest he can become a reliable No. 1 cornerback in the NFL and it’s all part of the reason why he’ll be a first-round pick.

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