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2023 NFL Draft prospect profile - Joey Porter Jr, CB, Penn State

Will Junior be the next All-Pro Joey Porter?

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

The cornerback position projects to be one of the strongest in the 2023 NFL Draft. That’s great news for pretty much every NFL team, as no team can ever have enough talented coverage players. This draft class has talented corners of just about every body type and skill set. In particular, the NFL is always on the lookout for big, long, athletic corners — and there just so happen to be quite a few of them in this class.

Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr. isn’t just grabbing attention based on his name — although that is certainly eye-catching. He is a very well-regarded player in his own right, and brings a rare physical profile at 6-foot 2 12 inches with 34-inch arms.

The New York Giants certainly have a need at cornerback. Not only is their depth chart thin, but Wink Martindale’s scheme demands a lot from its coverage players. The Giants were very interested in long corners a year ago, so could Porter appeal to them in 2023?

That is, if he even lasts to their first round pick?

Prospect: Joey Porter Jr. (9)
Games Watched: vs. Purdue (2022), vs. Auburn (2022), vs. Michigan (2022), vs. Ohio State (2022)
Red Flags: Appendicitis (November, 2022)


[RAS Score]

Career Stats

Games Played: 34

Tackles: 113
Tackles for a loss: 2.0
Sacks: 1.0
Passes defensed: 20
Interceptions: 1

2022 Stats

Games Played: 10

Tackles: 27
Tackles for a loss: 0.0
Sacks: 0.0
Passes defensed: 11
Interceptions: 0

Quick Summary

Best: Length, athleticism, disruption, coverage
Worst: Ball skills, agility, mass
Projection: A starting outside corner with scheme versatility.

Game Tape

(Porter Jr. is Penn State cornerback number 9)

Full Report

Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr. has a rare combination of length and athleticism for the cornerback position at the NFL level.

Porter Jr. is a very long corner at 6-foot 2 ½ inches tall with 34-inch arms. Unlike many long corners, he also has quick feet and fluid hips to go with adequate long speed. Porter played both zone and man coverage schemes in Penn State’s defense, aligning in press as well as off coverages. He typically aligned on the defensive left in the tape viewed, however there were also instances of him shadowing the opposing team’s best receiver in man coverage.

Porter Jr. is physical at the line of scrimmage – and throughout the play – when playing man coverage. He uses his long arms well to deliver a stiff jam to disrupt receivers at the line of scrimmage. He also has surprisingly fluid hips for a long-limbed corner and is able to open his hips and carry his speed vertically in transition. That allows Porter Jr. to get, and stay, in phase with most receivers on most routes. He has enough speed to carry most receivers vertically, particularly when he’s able to lengthen his stride.

He generally does a good job of quickly gaining depth with his backpedal when playing zone coverage. Porter Jr. is a smart player who understands offensive route concepts, as well as pattern-match rules in zone coverage. That can make him a difficult player to target with misdirection or put in conflict with route concepts. He communicates well before and during the play, and does a good job of picking up and passing off receivers that pass through his zone of responsibility. Likewise, he tries to keep an eye on the backfield and lets the quarterback lead him to the play.

Porter Jr. has a quick downhill trigger and a good closing burst. Combined with his considerable length, that makes him a very disruptive player at the catch point. Porter Jr. is able to use his length to let him play the receivers hands from surprising distance asway, as well as give himself a big tackle radius. He wasn’t tested often in his final year, but he has a habit of knocking the ball away at the last instant.

Porter Jr. is a willing run defender who generally sets a firm edge on the perimeter. He doesn’t seem to make “business decisions” in run defense and is willing to stick his nose in and get his hands dirty. He’s a reliable tackler who uses his long arms and big tackle radius to get the ball carrier on the ground.

He was rarely tasked with blitzing in the tape watched, though he did show good speed into the backfield on the rare occasions in which he did rush the passer.

Porter Jr’s physicality is an asset in most of his game, but there were multiple instances of him being over-aggressive and overly physical. He can have a tendency to get “grabby” in tight coverage, particularly against quicker receivers. He will need to play with better hand discipline and technique in tight man coverage at the NFL level, or he’ll be at severe risk for drawing defensive pass interference penalties.

While Porter Jr. has very long arms and big hands, and a penchant for disrupting at the catch point, he doesn’t have very good ball skills. He had multiple interceptions bounce off his hands in the tape viewed and showed evidence of just not trusting his hands. He left his feet unnecessarily as he tried to make the interception, and simply is not a natural “hands catcher”.

And while Porter Jr. is a willing run defender, his lack of mass can be an issue at times. He can be moved by blockers when he isn’t able to use his length to keep himself clean. Likewise, he can be a drag-down tackler who gives up some yardage after contact if he isn’t in a good position to drive through the ball carrier.

Porter Jr. can also struggle to keep up with receivers who are either quick or precision route runners. He’s a high-cut player and doesn’t have a compact back pedal. He isn’t really able to drop his hips to lower his center of gravity, which can force him to take a moment and gather himself when forced to change direction quickly.

Overall Grade: 8.0


Joey Porter Jr. projects as a starting outside cornerback with scheme versatility at the NFL level.

Porter Jr. was asked to play both man and zone coverage at the collegiate level and generally executed well. He understands his role in the defensive scheme, as well as how to execute pattern matching rules (such as “Man Only Deep”) in zone coverage. That should give him a fairly short learning curve in the NFL.

He will need to be more disciplined with his hands when in man coverage at the NFL level. College rules regarding contact in coverage are much looser than at the NFL level, and Porter Jr. took full advantage of that. However, those same plays would almost certainly be flagged for DPI by NFL officials. NFL teams will also want to work with Porter Jr. at the catch point. He’s a disruptive player thanks to his length, closing burst, and physicality, but he simply doesn’t produce many turnovers. Knocking the ball away is all well and good, but it will quickly become frustrating if offenses test the young corner and he drops “shoulda-been” interceptions.

Teams will also want to be careful in matching Porter Jr. up against particularly quick receivers. He’s a good athlete, but still subject to physics and players with lower centers of gravity and good quickness will be able to generate separation with their route running.

But despite his issues, Joey Porter Jr. has impressive upside and potential. He should be able to seize a starting job early in his career – even immediately – and he should quickly become a good, reliable corner. The success of long, athletic corners in the NFL should give teams the confidence to select Porter Jr. early in the draft and give him every opportunity to succeed.