Joey Porter Jr. Leads The Way For Nittany Lions In Post-NFL Combine Mock Drafts

With the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine wrapping up earlier this month, many updated mock drafts were released by draft analysts. Most mock drafts have cornerback Joey Porter Jr. as a bonafide first-round pick, with other Nittany Lions projected to go in the middle and late rounds.

Now that mock draft SZN is in full effect, here’s where many draft analysts see Porter and other Nittany Lions going.

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz (USA TODAY)

In his latest first-round mock draft, USA TODAY‘s Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz has the Washington Commanders selecting cornerback Joey Porter Jr. with the No. 16 overall pick.

Middlehurst-Schwartz believes Washington would be “wise” to take advantage of this year’s cornerback class, especially since the team doesn’t have much depth at the position. He added that Porter “sizes up as a frustrating matchup for opposing receivers given his physicality and playmaking prowess.”

Middlehurst-Schwartz doesn’t have any other Nittany Lions being selected in the first round.

Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports)

Ryan Wilson has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting Joey Porter Jr. with the No. 17 overall pick in his latest mock draft. Wilson said Porter is a “prototypical big, physical cornerback who looks like he belongs in the NFL.”

Porter’s father was a linebacker in the NFL for 13 years, and he played for the Steelers in eight of those seasons. Porter would be the third cornerback selected in the first round by Pittsburgh since 2002, joining Chad Scott and Artie Burns.

“Porter Jr. has a chance to be special,” Wilson said.

Todd McShay (ESPN)

ESPN’s Todd McShay has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selecting Joey Porter Jr. at No. 19 overall. According to his mock draft, Porter would be the fourth cornerback selected in the first round of a draft that many expect to be loaded with talent at the position.

McShay cites the potential departures of many free agents from Tampa Bay as one reason why Porter would make sense at No. 19 overall. He implied that Porter might take time to develop but that he’s capable of being an impactful player in the NFL.

“Porter might not have the takeaway production just yet after only one pick in college, but he makes plays on the ball, breaking up 11 passes in 2022,” he wrote.

Although McShay’s projection for Porter is the lowest so far, it’s likely that he ends up being drafted somewhere in the middle of the first round.

Lance Zierlein (

Lance Zierlein of is in agreement with McShay, as he believes Tampa Bay will select Joey Porter Jr. with the No. 19 overall pick in his latest mock draft.

While McShay implies that Porter may take time to develop, Zierlein thinks he could start right away if the Buccaneers lose cornerback Jamel Dean to free agency.

“Porter Jr. is a long-limbed press corner who can fit into the Buccaneers’ scheme as an early starter,” Zierlein wrote.

Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News)

With the No. 14 overall pick, Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News has the New England Patriots selecting Joey Porter Jr. Iyer said Porter “checked in taller than expected at the Combine” and that he has “size-speed-quickness qualities to be a No. 1 cover corner.”

The Patriots were dealt a significant loss to their secondary when longtime safety Devin McCourty retired after 13 seasons in the NFL. Although he isn’t a safety, who’s to say Bill Belichick wouldn’t select Porter and make him the next face of New England’s secondary?

Pro Football Focus

Pro Football Focus is in agreement with Sporting News, as it also has the Patriots selecting Joey Porter Jr. at No. 14 overall.

PFF values Porter at No. 14 due to his “high football IQ.” It also adds that Porter would be a top-10 pick if he were a “slightly better athlete.”

Porter would bolster a New England secondary that arguably struggled to keep up with the talented secondaries of the other three teams in the AFC East.


None of these drafts had any other Nittany Lions being selected in the first round. However, some Nittany Lions were taken in later rounds of other mock drafts. The Athletic’s Vic Tafur has the Las Vegas Raiders selecting Brenton Strange in the sixth round with the No. 214 overall pick, while Justin DiLoro of Bills Wire has Buffalo selecting Ji’Ayir Brown in the third round with the No. 91 overall pick. PJ Mustipher appears to be slated as a mid-round pick right now, as Fansided’s Randy Gurzi has the Dallas Cowboys selecting the defensive lineman in the fifth round with the No. 176 overall pick.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a third-year journalism major from Silver Spring, Maryland, which means he's an avid fan of all D.C. sports teams. If Nolan isn't writing about or watching sports, you can probably find him listening to all sorts of music or traveling. To keep up with Nolan, you can follow him on Twitter @nolan_wick or email him at [email protected].

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