Cornerback Joey Porter Jr. blossomed into a Big Ten star for the Penn State defense over the last two seasons. Even with a new defensive coordinator, Porter Jr. got off to a flying start in 2022. Through two games, he already had more pass deflections than he did all of the previous season. He was also the National Defensive Player of the Week in after his Week 1 performance against Purdue. He looks poised to continue his defensive dominance in the NFL, where his dad already paved the way for his success.
The goal has always been the NFL for Porter Jr., and it makes sense when you look at some of the memories he got to be a part of as a kid. His dad, former All-Pro football player Joey Porter Sr., played 11 seasons in the NFL as a linebacker, recording 98 career sacks and winning a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he would return as coach on Mike Tomlin's staff. At just five years old, Porter Jr. watched his dad win that Super Bowl and celebrated with him on the field. Now, according to almost every mock draft, he's going to be a first round draft pick, with teams like the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, and the New York Jets, where the first-team All-Big Ten corner would be teaming up with former Packers QBAaron Rodgers and Sauce Gardner. That would be ESPN's best-case scenario.
Joey Porter's NFL Blueprint for His Son
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As a father, Porter has gotten to watch his son dominate the same side of the ball from high school to college, just in a different way. Although he is not a pass rusher like his outside linebacker dad, Porter Jr. still makes their lives miserable, and had NFL scouts salivating over his skills at the NFL Combine. By eliminating opposing teams' best wide receivers and breaking up what seems like every pass that comes his way, he has made a name for himself. While fellow defensive back Devon Witherspoon may have all the interceptions, that's because Porter Jr. is so stifling good, his matchups don't get thrown to. Seriously, if Alabama's Bryce Young or Ohio State's C.J. Stroud went up against Porter Jr. in every game, they'd probably drop down a few rounds and play backup for Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa.
Joey Porter Jr. is a ball player
— Antwan V. Staley (@antwanstaley) September 2, 2022
He will certainly go in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft, which would be two rounds earlier than his dad. As a third-round pick, Porter Sr. absolutely made the most out of the opportunity he was given, and it looks like he wants the same for his son. As a former NFL player and coach, the elder Porter has made sure to get his son ready for success. When he would return home from campus, they train together and pick up right where they left off, an advantage not many other prospects have.
Porter Jr. Became Penn State's Leader Through Hard Work
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Porter Jr.'s offseason training plan has definitely worked, as he continued to progress each year. From his freshman year to his junior year, he looks like a completely different player. He looks fearless on the field, ready to take on whatever receiver is in front of him. This is exactly the mentality that the whole Penn State defense needs, especially with some of the high-powered offenses on the schedule ahead.
Porter Jr. Highlighted Coach Franklin's Changes for Penn State
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Last year's Penn State defense was ready to turn heads with their play. If Porter Jr. can continue to make plays when these moments come, he could very well become more than just the first Penn State cornerback ever to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Quarterbacks are going to have to be extra careful when the Porter name makes its way back into professional football.
It must have seemed like a lot to live up to, having a father who was a star in the NFL and a Super Bowl champion, but Porter Jr. seems to be doing it. He has used his resources to his advantage and has continued to get better each year. There is no telling yet just how high his ceiling might be, and as good as he has been this year, the best of Joey Porter Jr. is still yet to come.