Penn State Football cornerback Joey Porter Jr. is poised to be the program’s next first-round NFL Draft pick, but at least according to one top ranking team executive, the Nittany Lions‘ star could wind up siding.
Entering the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis back in March, Porter Jr. was in the conversation to be the first cornerback chosen in the 2023 draft, despite not intercepting a pass last season. However, in some mock drafts, Porter is coming off the board behind the likes of Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon and Colorado’s Christian Gonzalez.
In Heavy Sports’ NFL Insider Matt Lombardo’s mock draft, Porter Jr. goes off the board No. 16 overall to the Washington Commanders. Lombardo, citing an NFL executive, shares a concern that teams have had about the Penn State star:
“Joey could slide out of the top-15 because teams are afraid he can’t play off ball,” the executive says.
There is little doubt that at 6-foot-2 and 199 pounds, Porter has the length to match up with top receivers across the NFL, but he was rarely asked to do much other than play press coverage, where he excelled.
A testament to Porter Jr.‘s game translating at the next level is the fact that opponents rarely targeted him, during the 2022 campaign.
Last season, Porter Jr. held opposing quarterbacks to a career-low 63.6 passer rating on his 30 targets, according to Pro Football Focus.
If Porter Jr. is chosen in the first-round, he’ll be the third consecutive Penn State player chosen in Round 1, dating back to Micah Parsons being chosen by the Dallas Cowboys with the No. 11 overall pick in 2021.