Pittsburgh Steelers standout rookie cornerback Joey Porter Jr. lost out in the Defensive Rookie of the Year award voting, as Houston Texans defensive end Will Anderson Jr. was named the winner at the NFL Honors awards ceremony on Thursday night. Porter was one of five finalists for the award.
With Porter, his rookie season is one for the books. Coming in about a quarter of the way through the season, Porter shadowed top receivers at as high of a rate as most number ones in the NFL. To that effect, he did it at a high level, allowing just one touchdown throughout the entire season. Other finalists for the award included Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Jalen Carter, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon, and Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Kobie Turner.
Joey Porter Jr. shadowed top receivers at a higher rate than any other rookie cornerback. In fact, he was near the top of the league in that metric. The only one who really got the better of him consistently was DK Metcalf, and even by the end of that game, Porter was able to slow down Metcalf down the stretch. Overall, while doing that, he allowed just one touchdown on a busted coverage against the Jaguars.
Kendrell Bell was the last Steelers player to win Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2001. Porter seemed like a long way to win it, as Carter was the long-thought-of favorite, and Turner’s recent surge put him square in contention to bring home the award.
Anderson, the No. 3 overall pick out of Alabama, finished with seven sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 45 tackles and 22 quarterback hits in 15 games, while helping the Texans return to the playoffs.