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Joey Porter Jr. Declares He’s the Best Cornerback in NFL

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Pittsburgh Steelers CB Joey Porter Jr.

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joey Porter Jr. did not enter the starting lineup until Week 8 last season. The Steelers wanted Porter to get acclimated to the pro level, but once he solidified himself as starter, there was no turning back. Porter showcased that he was one of the league’s best cornerbacks.

Porter allowed a completion on just 47.4% of his targets in 2023, which was the lowest among all cornerbacks with 50+ targets, according to Pro Football Focus. In addition, Porter only gave up 50+ yards in the air in 2 out of his 17 games during his rookie season.

Travis Etienne’s 56-yard touchdown in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Week 8 win over the Steelers was the only touchdown that Porter allowed in 2023, and that came on a busted coverage.

Porter wants respect on his name. He believes no one was doing what he did against No. 1 wide receivers last season, according to an interview with Mark Kaboly of The Athletic.

Porter made it clear that he’s just getting started, telling Kaboly, “I don’t care if I am mentioned in there (among the best) or not because they are going to hear my name eventually.”

Steelers CB Joey Porter Jr.

Steelers CB Joey Porter Jr. against the Ravens Oct. 8, 2023 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Porter finished fifth in voting for defensive rookie of the year last season. His goal this offseason was to add more weight and get stronger.

Porter harped on his ability to tackle in run support and what he thinks is a weaker punch in press coverage as reasons he needed to bulk up from 200 pounds to 205 pounds.

“I feel good,” Porter said last week at OTAs. “Really, I’m feeling confident right now. It was about five pounds, maybe. I’m really trying to play at 205 last year. I fluctuate from 198 to 200. It’s kinda weird because I’m big for my position, so being 200 was not a big deal for me. But at 205 I can be physical in the run game and on the line.”

With Porter bulking up, he hopes to step up against top NFL wide receivers again to shut them down.

“Covering No. 1 wide receivers forces you to grow up fast,” Porter said. “I feel like I took on that challenge and showed I could hang with them. That’s something hopefully I can continue to do this year.”

Nick Farabaugh contributed reporting from Pittsburgh.