Blue White Illustrated

May 2023

Penn State Sports Magazine

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3 6 M A Y 2 0 2 3 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M Joey Porter Jr. CB | 6-2 | 198 Projection: First-Round Pick Despite its distinguished football his- tory, Penn State has never had a defensive back picked in the first round of the NFL Draft. Porter Jr. is all but guaranteed to end that drought in a few weeks, and he expects to be on hand to celebrate his ac- complishment. Porter, a consensus All-American and projected first-round selection, revealed at Penn State's Pro Day on March 24 that he has been invited to attend the draft, which will take place over three days starting April 27 in Kansas City, Mo. He is the first Penn State player invited to attend the event since linebacker Micah Parsons in 2021. "It feels great to fall in that line with other great athletes that went to Penn State, and I could follow up and be the next," Porter said. "Since a young age, I've been watching people walk across that stage. I'm definitely happy I could put on that hat and hold the little jersey. So, yeah, I'm excited." For now, safety Bryan Scott holds the distinction of being Penn State's high- est-drafted defensive back. Scott was chosen by Atlanta in the second round of the 2003 draft with the 55th overall pick. Porter shouldn't have to wait that long. He's been ranked among the first 25 selections in most mock drafts, and several analysts have him in the top 15. Given what he's been hearing lately, it's no surprise that he's already envisioning himself as a Nittany Lion trailblazer. "It's definitely amazing that I'm going to be the first," Porter said. "I'm going to go down in history at Penn State. That's something I can come back and show my kids, definitely a spe- cial moment. I'm going to be the first and really just set the tone for what's coming be- hind me." While Porter's status as a first-round talent is undisputed, there's plenty of uncertainty about where he could end up. New England and Washington have been mentioned as likely destinations, as has Pittsburgh, where his father, Joey Porter, was a Pro Bowl linebacker and won a Super Bowl ring. No matter which team picks the Penn State star, it will be getting an athlete with way-above-average length, plenty of speed, and a knack for finding the ball. Porter is eager to find his next team and also make history for the one he's leav- ing behind. "I'm really grateful to be at the back end" of the draft process, he said at Pro Day. "I know a lot of people who haven't been through this before. So, I can't really complain too much. But I'm happy it's getting over." — Greg Pickel What They're Saying About Joey Porter Jr. "I'm a fan of Porter, a lanky and physical defender who can reroute receivers with the best of them. He has really long arms. He is aggressive, although he had just one career interception in 30 career starts. His 4.46-second 40-yard dash (and 1.50-second 10-yard split) at the combine was great for his size." — Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN "This is a player with surreal length and physicality on the outside and I thought he took some massive strides in 2022 by becoming a more consistent coverage defender. His leap in play and functional athleticism catapult him into the upper echelon of pros- pects for the 2023 NFL Draft." — Kyle Crabbs, The Draft Network Measurements ARMS 34 INCHES HANDS 10 INCHES 40 4.46 SECONDS BENCH 17 REPS VERTICAL 37.5 INCHES BROAD 10 FEET, 11 INCHES 3-CONE — 20-YARD SHUTTLE — KANSAS CITY KANSAS CITY , HERE THEY COME HERE THEY COME Penn State's latest contingent of NFL Draft hopefuls includes a likely first-rounder who stands poised to make history Porter did most of his testing at the NFL Scouting Combine but was also on hand for the Lions' Pro Day in March. PHOTO BY CRAIG HOUTZ/PENN STATE ATHLETICS

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