We are back with another draft prospect analysis for the Philadelphia Eagles. We will look at Penn State's Joey Porter Jr. He is the son of Super Bowl Champion linebacker Joey Porter. Most recently Porter Jr. announced he will skip Penn State's bowl game and prepare for the NFL Draft.
We have been mixing up the draft prospects so far. We have looked at players who the Eagles could target with the Saints pick and players who they should target with their own pick. Both picks are on opposite sides of the round, so there is no real cross-over. Except for Joey Porter Jr. I have been reading plenty of mocks for the 2023 NFL Draft, and half of them have Porter Jr going late first/early second, to some mocks have him as a top 10 pick.
So now here is the dilemma. If the Eagles draft him in the top ten, did they reach on him? Or if they select him with their own pick, did they just get a steal? Let's dive into the Nittany Lion CB and see where the Eagles should look for him.
Weight: 198 lbs
40 time: 4.47 sec.
Joey Porter Jr. began his career in 2019 as a true freshman. He only played in 4 games and only 80 snaps. The stats were not high or great during his true freshman season.
In the 2020 shortened season, Porter Jr played in 8 games for 415 snaps. In his sophomore season, his playing time and stats all went up exponentially more. He had 28 tackles, 2 pass breakups, and 0 interceptions.
In 2021, he played in 13 games and 769 snaps. He took a big leap in his production with 46 tackles, 1 interception, and 3 pass breakups. In both 2020 and 2021, Porter Jr. was named Third Team All-Big Ten.
In 2022, he finished the season by being named First Team All-Big Ten after playing in every game with 27 tackles and 2 fumble recoveries. This season he broke up 9 passes, allowed 13 catches, and 128 yards on only 28 targets
1. Physical attributes
2. Untapped potential
3. Elite cover skills
Porter Jr."s physical attributes are some of the bests at his position in this draft. We will not get the official measurements until the NFL Combine or the Penn State Pro Day. It is hard to discuss exact numbers without knowing them, but you can tell his physical attributes help his play so much.
When a receiver goes deep on him, he has the strength both in his lower body and his long reach, that he can force the WR into the sideline. This season he broke up 9 passes, allowed 13 catches, and 128 yards on only 28 targets. The reason for a decline in stats was because the ball was never thrown to him. Rightfully so because his physical attributes and athleticism contributed to his game.
Porter Jr. has yet to peak. There is still so much potential in his game. We have barely seen him play. 2022 was the first season where he played in every game, and he did not play every snap. Seeing the tools, he has already and knowing he can add more with experience is fun to watch. There is so much potential in Porter Jr. still that he is only going to get better in the NFL.
Now let's look at his coverage skills. Obviously, his stats say he is doing something right, but will what he is doing work in the NFL? Just watch him hips when he is on coverage and watch him go stride to stride with any receiver he faces. His ball skills are good not great, but he has a physical demeanor that helps make up for not having great ball skills. He has no issue getting his hands on the receiver to make the play. When tracking the ball, he has good recognition on the ball. He can move out of his backpedal with ease and to get on the ball quick.
When you look at his physical attributes, he is ideally what an NFL team wants from him. He is long and athletic. Then you look at his coverage game. He has really good skills for a CB. He can move his body so fluidly to make the play. He has good ball skills and great route recognition. When he is facing the play, he has such a big influence on the play. He is the kind of player the QB needs to account for, because if he does not Porter Jr has the skills to intercept the ball.
Areas of Improvement
1. Too handsy downfield
2. Off coverage
3. Continue to add to the toolbox.
Porter Jr is a physical CB. He has no issue putting his hands on the receiver especially downfield. He is going to need to be coached out of that when the ball goes deep in the NFL. He can get away with in college as he is bigger than most of his competition. However, once he gets to the NFL those deep balls and him being so handsy will come back to bite him in the butt.
He is so good in press coverage, but he is not great in off-coverage situations. His transition from backpedaling to running forward needs improvement. Most of the passes he gave up were short passes due to his transition.
Porter Jr is still inexperienced as a CB. He has a lot of great skills already. However, he needs to continue to add to his toolbox. To be successful in the league. he needs to be able to adjust to any and all WR's that he goes up against. He needs to improve in certain areas, but he needs to add more to the toolbox. The potential is there, and he has not scratched the surface of how good he can actually be.
Where does he fit in with the Eagles?
The Eagles will need a CB to play opposite the outside from Darius Slay. James Bradberry's future with the Eagles is still up in the air as he expected to get paid this offseason.
Porter Jr will play primarily on the outside and rarely in the slot. The good news for the Eagles is they have a need for an outside corner. So already Porter Jr will have a spot and a role on this team.
Some mocks have the Eagles taking him with the Saints pick. I feel that is a mistake. Even though he is physically the right fit and has the skills to be CB1 in the future. he is still a raw product. He needs to add more to his toolbox so there is still a slim chance he never improves in the NFL. When you select some in the top 10, you draft them knowing you are getting the real deal. I firmly believe that Porter Jr will be an NFL starter but if you select someone in the top ten the expectation is they start day 1. There is some uncertainty that he does day 1.
I think it would be a reach to select him with the Saints pick if that stays in the top 10, but if the Eagles draft him with their own pick, I think it would be a great pick. He has the physical attributes that NFL teams look for in a CB and the untapped potential is fun to think about. However, not knowing what the potential is a little concerning. The Saints pick should have zero question marks and right now Porter Jr has a few too many. Hopefully after the combine and pro day, my thoughts change because I would love to see him in midnight green.