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Steelers CB Joey Porter Jr. Balls Out in First Start



Steelers CB Joey PorteR Jr.
Steelers CB Joey Porter Jr. against the Jaguars, Oct. 29, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Steelers have seen many bad things go their way this year. Star power has carried them over the first part of the season and for the last few years. But at some point, things do catch up to you when how you win is not sustainable. However, there is one promising sign. Pittsburgh’s rookie class continues to look as good as any in the NFL, and the forefront of that is cornerback Joey Porter Jr. In his first career start, Porter rose to the occasion and more.

How good has this guy been? I thought Porter had a chance to be an excellent player, but he’s soared over those expectations. This guy is easily the best cornerback on the team and playing like the best rookie cornerback in football. It appears if he keeps this up that, Pittsburgh may have found themselves an absolute gem at the top of the second round.

As he plays more, his stat line won’t look as sterling as it once did coming into the game. That’s fine. But he has plays that keep showing growth. In this game, the most prominent example I can point to is when he got beat to the inside by Calvin Ridley, and Trevor Lawerence threw a dart on third and long to maximize yards after the catch. It could have gone for a massive gain, but instead, Porter made a fantastic tackle to end the drive. That’s the type of growth you need to see, and each week, Porter gets better.

The Steelers have something in Joey Porter Jr. With how they have drafted cornerbacks in the past, that is a welcome development. His length is a severe equalizing factor that he has weaponized. Moreover, Porter has come a long way with his footwork and has proven to have ball skills that he did not show off at Penn State. That can not go under the radar, given the struggles this secondary has faced in every area of the field from the secondary this year. It’s almost like the opposite day, but in a room full of veterans, the rookie has proven to be the stabilizing force.