It is no secret that the Pittsburgh Steelers need cornerback help via the NFL Draft as their top cornerback is newly signed 32-year-old Patrick Peterson. It should also come as no surprise that former NFL cornerback and member of the Denver Broncos No Fly Zone defense Chris Harris Jr. is banging the table for the Steelers to draft a corner.
Today, Harris Jr. joined NFL Network and discussed Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. and said at 17th overall, the Steelers should draft him.
“The Steelers need a young corner opposite of Patrick Peterson,” Harris Jr. said. “They signed Levi Wallace (in 2022), they lost Cameron Sutton. To add a young cornerback like [Porter Jr.], 6’2″, 200 pounds. A physical corner is gonna fit right into Mike Tomlin’s system in the way they want to play ball. I think he’s the perfect fit for Steelers’ defense in what they need.”
Porter Jr., son of former Steelers linebacker and coach Joey Porter, excelled at Penn State. Despite not having much interception production, Porter Jr. had 17 career pass breakups in four years. One reason for his ability to break up passes is his length. Porter Jr. has an arm length of 34 inches, which is uniquely long for cornerbacks.
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah explained how those long arms can be effective.
“He’s got 34-inch arms, which you see in offensive tackles you don’t see in corners,” Jeremiah said. “It is a rare, rare asset that he has. And it’s a situation where when he’s beat, he’s not really beat. There might be 2 yards of separation, all of a sudden it’s Go-Go Gadget arms and he can recover the space.”
Bringing in a player with such athleticism and traits would be massive for a Steelers defense that hasn’t had a truly elite cornerback for a long time. The last time the Steelers had a true No. 1 cornerback was early in Joe Haden’s tenure, and it’s a position at which the team has been lacking.
While Porter Jr can be too grabby and only intercepted one pass at Penn State , those are things that can be easily addressed. Having a veteran like Peterson, who has seen everything, in the cornerback room would be really helpful for Porter Jr.
Porter Jr. has been a commonly mocked player to the Steelers this offseason. Almost universally rated as a top-three cornerback in the draft, a big question is if he will be there when the Steelers’ selection at No. 17 in the first round comes around. If he is around, there is a very good chance Porter Jr. follows in his father’s footsteps and becomes a Steeler.