One of the biggest surprises of the first-round of the 2023 NFL Draft is the fact that Penn State Football cornerback Joey Porter Jr. slid out of it into the second-round.
Porter Jr. was widely viewed by those inside the league and out as one of the top players in a loaded cornerback class, and his slide into Round 2 raised eyebrows among some NFL insiders.
“The hole teams see has to be speed,” an AFC Scout told Heavy.com’s Matt Lombardo. “He has good length, great instincts, plus ball-skills, and plenty of athleticism.”
Last season, Porter Jr. was rarely targeted, and did not intercept a pass. However, he only allowed 15 receptions on 30 targets, and did not surrender a touchdown during the 2022 campaign.
Viewed by many as a potential premier press-corner, thanks in large part to his 34-inch wingspan, Porter Jr. fired back at skeptics that he can’t playoff ball, prior to the draft getting underway.
“I guess [the executives] didn’t watch my film,” Porter Jr. said during an appearance on The Matt Lombardo Show. “Because before last season, for two years prior, I had Brent Pry [as defensive coordinator] and we weren’t really a press team, we played a lot of off”
Former NFL Executive of The Year, Randy Mueller, concurs with Porter Jr.’s self-study.
“For me, the best player still available is Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr.,” Heavy contributor, and former NFL Executive of The Year Randy Mueller said. “He’s long, athletic, and sudden. He can be slightly undisciplined at times, but is going to be wired the right away and will be a good NFL player.
“I like him because he plays inside and outside, with a multitude of techniques … Can play press, bail, off coverage, etc.”
Cornerbacks Devon Witherspoon, Christian Gonzalez, Emmanuel Forbes, and Deonte Banks were all chosen in the first-round. The second-round gets underway Friday evening, and Porter Jr. is expected to be one of the most sought after prospects in the second-round.