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NFL Draft Rewind: No. 17 Joey Porter, Jr.

Joey Porter, Jr.
Joey Porter, Jr. (© Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL Draft kicks off with its opening round on April 27 in Kansas City, so Rivals is taking a look back at its projected first-round picks when they were high school prospects. We move on to our projected No. 17 – Penn State cornerback Joey Porter, Jr., who was a three-star prospect in the 2019 class.


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No. 17: CB Joey Porter, Jr., Penn State

Where they were ranked: The Pittsburgh (Pa.) North Allegheny standout was a high three-star prospect who was ranked No. 52 at the position and No. 11 in the Pennsylvania state rankings.

Recruitment: In the spring before his senior season, Porter emerged as a national prospect landing offers from LSU, Ohio State, Miami, Nebraska and others and then Penn State got involved in April. He took a visit to State College over the summer and it looked like the Nittany Lions, Pitt and LSU were the front-runners. Porter picked Penn State - considered to be the leader in his top group - in September.

Biggest question: His 4.46-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine was impressive but is he twitchy enough against elite NFL receivers and does he hold too much?

Joey Porter
Joey Porter

Memories: When it comes to Porter and memories, there aren’t a ton of memories from his high school days because he wasn’t on the national scene much.

Porter, whose father was a four-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion, only attended a couple of camps during his high school days and really never got thrown at much in the Pittsburgh suburbs so the evaluation process was difficult with him.

We tended to lean a little more conservative which ended up being a mistake since he’s a potential first-rounder but at the time there just wasn’t much to go on. There were also questions about whether he would stay at defensive back or grow much bigger like his father who was 6-foot-3 and 248 pounds during his playing days.

Other than that, there were some issues with being too handsy with receivers and concerns about his overall athletic ability but many of those have been answered over the last few years at Penn State.

There’s no doubt that Porter has blossomed a lot in the last few years in college. Yes, he had picks in high school but many from his senior season highlight tape were poorly thrown balls that he stepped in front of. At Penn State, he did a great job in coverage, pressed receivers to the sidelines and then had the length to knock passes away across the middle.