Steelers scouting report: CB Joey Porter Jr. is a lengthy boundary cornerback

Steelers, Joey Porter Jr.
Steelers, Joey Porter Jr. / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

There weren't many experts who predicted that Joey Porter Jr. would be available to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 32nd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Penn State cornerback had his best season in 2022 and he possesses the size, length, and demeanor that NFL teams covet in a boundary cornerback.

Porter is the son of former Steelers Pro Bowler, Joey Porter Sr. The Penn State product is a former four-star recruit from Wexford, Pennsylvania. He decided to go back to school for another season in 2022 to increase his draft stock. Here's my full scouting report on Joey Porter Jr.


  • Remarkable height and length for the cornerback position (6'2 1/2'' with 34'' arms)
  • Nearly 81'' wingspan makes it extremely difficult for quarterbacks to make tight-window throws
  • Good athlete with enough speed to stick with receivers downfield
  • Gritty and scrappy with the right mentality for the CB position
  • Strong family bloodlines, father was a former NFL All-Pro
  • Raised to live and breathe football, has a terrific feel for the game
  • Outstanding early in the play in press-man coverage
  • Routinely re-routes receivers with length and punch
  • Pass-breakup machine who times the play well
  • Willing tackler thanks to his physical demeanor
  • Best football came during the 2022 season


  • Lack of interceptions is a major concern, questions about his hands
  • Overrated as a run defender, graded out poorly in this aspect of his game
  • Way too grabby at times which leads often leads to penalties
  • Not very laterally quick, may be hard to stick with twitchier receivers
  • Can play out of control at times when supporting the run
  • Needs to be more sudden at times breaking on the football
  • Average PFF grades are a bit concerning
  • Boundary cornerback only who may struggle if he's asked to follow a receiver

2022 Statistics:

  • 34 games at Penn State (10 starts in 2022)
  • 27 total tackles and 11 pass defenses in 2022
  • Just 1 interception in 4 college seasons
  • 0 touchdowns allowed in coverage in 2022, per PFF
  • 77.4 coverage grade in 2022

Projected role for the Steelers:

Thanks to his college experience and football background, Joey Porter Jr. should start early in his career for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Porter played mostly LCB for Penn State, so Teryl Austin may slot him in that position as the left boundary cornerback. Early in his career, Porter won't follow top receivers, and he's not going to be a guy who covers the slot. He could win the starting role from day one or at least be an outside cornerback in nickel and dime packages to begin his rookie year.

NFL player comparison: Ike Taylor

It sounds cliche, but Joey Porter Jr. really does have a playstyle that compares favorably to former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback, Ike Taylor. It took Taylor a while to break out in the NFL from the time he entered the league back in 2003, and he didn't become a full-time starter until his third season. When he finally caught on, Taylor proved to be a lockdown CB with the grit, attitude, and swagger that defensive coordinators love. The biggest issue with Taylor was the frustrating lack of ball skills, and Porter Jr. may never be a cornerback who takes the ball away often.

Bottom line: Joey Porter Jr. is a physical press-man cornerback who should excel at rerouting receivers and disrupting passing lanes. He will be frustrating with penalties at times, but he should have a long career as a boundary cornerback.

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