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Steelers' Joey Porter Jr. Says He's NFL's Top CB: Nobody Else Was Locking Down WR1s

Adam Wells

It's a common refrain that NFL cornerbacks have to be extremely confident in their ability when they are left on an island to cover wide receivers, so it's not a surprise that Joey Porter Jr. of the Pittsburgh Steelers thinks very highly of his talent on the field.

Speaking to The Athletic's Mark Kaboly, Porter declared himself to be the best cornerback in the league.

"There are a lot of good DBs in this league," Porter said. "Nobody was doing what I was doing going against WR1s the entire year and locking him down. I don't care if I am mentioned in there or not because they are going to hear my name eventually."

Porter did have a fantastic rookie season for the Steelers. He began the year playing a limited role before working his way into the starting lineup in Week 8 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The 23-year-old wound up playing all 17 games in 2023. He was on the field for at least 80 percent of the defensive snaps over the final 11 games, including playing every defensive snap in seven games during that span.

Porter's general stat line doesn't immediately stand out. He recorded 43 combined tackles, 10 pass breakups and one interception. He allowed just 24 catches, 352 yards and one touchdown on 58 targets, per Pro Football Focus' John Kosko.

Per NextGen Stats, Porter allowed the fourth-fewest yards per coverage snap as the nearest defender among all cornerbacks with at least 250 coverage snaps last season.

One area that Porter did struggle in 2023 was penalties. He has a physical style of play that resulted in him being flagged 12 times, which accounted for 13.04 percent of the Steelers' total for the season.

Four of those penalties were either for defensive pass interference (tied for sixth-most in the NFL) and three were for defensive holding.

As long as Porter can clear up some of those penalty issues, he could take a huge step forward going into his second season.

The Steelers already have T.J. Watt commanding a lot of attention on the defensive line. Porter's emergence could give them two Defensive Player of the Year candidates in 2024.


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