With the 32nd pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr.
The 32nd pick came via the team’s trade with the Chicago Bears, sending them WR Chase Claypool. Essentially, it’s trading Claypool for Porter. Pittsburgh reportedly had multiple offers to move down but stood at #32 to take Porter. The Tennessee Titans immediately traded up to #33 and drafted QB Will Levis.
Porter, a long corner with 34-inch arms, is considered one of the best press cornerbacks in the class. He fills an immediate need and was in contention to be Pittsburgh’s pick at #17. Though he picked off just one career pass, he made plays on the football with 11 pass deflections last season. Over his four-year career, Porter recorded 113 tackles with 20 pass deflections and one interception.
Porter Jr. is the son of Joey Porter Sr., a star Steelers outside linebacker and later, the team’s linebacker coach. He is the highest the Steelers have drafted a Penn State player since they took Franco Harris in the first round of the 1972 NFL Draft.
You can read our full scouting report below. Here is the good and bad of Porter’s report.
— Has great height and length for the position with the frame to fill out more (6’2, 198lb)
— Isn’t particularly fast in the open field, but has good recovery speed if a receiver gets on top of him
— Has experience in the slot, but has seen most of his action on the outside
— Does his best work up-close and personal in press man coverage, using his length and physicality to throw WRs off their route
— Played in a system that required him to play press man, off man, and in zone coverages
— Can body up bigger receivers and TEs over the middle of the field, along the sideline and in the red zone
— Length and leaping ability aids in contesting 50/50 balls to the receiver
— Has a freakish wingspan that helps blanket receivers in coverage
— Willing tackler when it comes to downhill pursuit in the run game
— Aggressive when it comes to hitting the ballcarrier with improved consistency from last season
— Can bring some punishment when asked to blitz off the edge
— Plays hard and shows effort in pursuit as a tackler, chasing guys down from behind or triggering quickly downfield
— Could stand to add more size and strength to his frame to get off blocks better
— Good athlete, but doesn’t possess great deep speed or explosiveness
— Can improve as a tackler, often dropping his head and diving at the defender
— Instincts in coverage have improved, but can stall at times at the top of the receiver’s route as he anticipates the break
— Will be slow to react to changes in direction, leading to separation being created by his assigned coverage receiver
— Has a bad habit of grabbing receivers down the field and at the top of route stems, leading to PI calls
— Very light ball production at the position with one INT in three seasons
The Steelers next pick will come in at #49. They also currently hold pick #80 in the third round. The team could trade down at a later point tonight.