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Joey Porter Jr.’s Athleticism, High Ceiling Make Him Exciting Prospect In NFL Draft

In 2019, Joey Porter Jr. arrived in Happy Valley as a highly touted cornerback prospect. Having attended North Allegheny High School, he was a four-star and ranked as the No. 4 player in Pennsylvania and the No. 33 player at his position by 247Sports.

Naturally, expectations were high for Porter upon his arrival. However, he only played in four games in his freshman season and ended up redshirting. Porter had three combined tackles in his limited action during the 2019 season, with two of those tackles against Rutgers, while the other was against Purdue.

Porter began to emerge as an important piece in Penn State’s secondary in 2020, playing in all but one game. He combined for 33 tackles, with 24 of them being solo while nine were assisted. Porter also had four pass breakups. The best game of the season for the redshirt freshman was Penn State’s infamous overtime loss against Indiana when Porter had five solo tackles, a pass breakup, and one tackle for a loss.

Although there were few bright spots from the 2020 season for Penn State, Porter was one of them. He continued to emerge as one of the key players on the entire defense.

In the first normal season that he saw full-time action in 2021, Porter impressed even more. He played in every game, including the Outback Bowl against Arkansas. The Bakersfield, California, native had a whopping 50 total tackles while also breaking up four passes and making his first career interception.

Porter’s interception was during a win over Indiana, but that wasn’t his best game of the season. That mark came in Penn State’s most infamous game of the season, which was the nine-overtime loss to Illinois at Beaver Stadium. Porter recorded eight solo tackles, one assisted tackle, and a pass breakup, again being one of the lone bright spots of the day.

By the end of the 2021 season, Porter was seen by some as the most important and talented player on the defense. His draft stock was rising, and people slowly began to see him as being worthy of potentially being drafted as high as the first round.

Expectations were the highest they’d ever been for Porter heading into the 2022 season. Sure enough, he opened with a bang. Porter was incredible in Penn State’s win over Purdue, with eight tackles, six pass breakups, and a fumble recovery.

He continued his impressive play for Penn State. By the end of the season, he had 27 total tackles, 11 pass breakups, and his lone fumble recovery against Purdue. He missed some time with appendicitis this season and then opted out of the Rose Bowl to prepare for the 2023 NFL Draft.

Now, Porter has been projected as a first-round draft pick in several mock drafts — usually in the middle of the round. He would be the second Penn Stater in as many years to go on the first day of the draft, as the Washington Commanders selected Jahan Dotson with the No. 16 overall pick in 2022.

Porter, at 6’2″ and 193 lbs, is valued for his athletic size. His arms were measured at 34″, which gives him an advantage when it comes to coverage and breaking up passes. Meanwhile, his 40-yard dash time at the combine was a 4.46 and his vertical jump was 35″.

Although he only has one interception to his name at the collegiate level, scouts are generally excited by Porter. Some of his strengths include smart hand usage, good at matchups against pass-catching tight ends, and recovery and length to swat away potential catches.

Meanwhile, some of his weaknesses include delay in the transition from the press, not being twitchy enough to match a complex route, and being too grabby at the top of a route, according to Some scouts and analysts alike are of the opinion that, although he will take time to develop and work on his weaknesses, the ceiling is very high.

According to, Porter’s NFL comparison is none other than former Penn Stater Amani Oruwariye. Back in December, Mel Kiper even ranked him as the No. 1 cornerback in the draft. Regardless of where he is selected, the team that does end up picking Joey Porter Jr. is sure to get an athletic player with a very high ceiling.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a sophomore majoring in journalism. From the Maryland side of the D.C. suburbs, Nolan likes using Old Bay and is a diehard Washington sports fan, which isn't fun these days. If you want to keep in touch with Nolan, follow him on Instagram @_nolanwick or on Twitter @nolan_wick.

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