Rams Suddenly a Possibility for the Son of 4-Time Pro Bowler

Joey Porter Jr.

Getty Joey Porter Jr. on NFL Draft night held on April 27, 2023 in Kansas City.

The Los Angeles Rams suddenly find themselves in a position to swoop up some rejected first rounders on Friday, April 28.

Surprisingly, one of the Rams’ potential options — should this prospect fall to No. 36 overall — is the son of a four-time Pro Bowler and past Super Bowl champion who was shockingly passed over by all 31 selections in the first round.

Joey Porter Jr. of Penn State went from being called a round one prediction to now being available in the second round. The son of Super Bowl 40 winner and Pittsburgh Steelers/Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter was among the biggest draft falls in night one of the spectacle.

The Nittany Lions cornerback witnessed these CBs go before him: Devon Witherspoon of Illinois, Emmanuel Forbes of Mississippi State, Christian Gonzalez of Oregon and Deonte Banks of Maryland between selections five to 24. Of the four, Forbes was considered a potential first draft option for the Rams by outlets like The Athletic and SB Nation — the latter projecting him 36th overall on Wednesday, April 26.

Should the Rams Lure Him in?

Porter Jr. isn’t just someone with famous NFL bloodlines. He’s got immense talent that he showcased in the Big 10.

For starters, he’s one of the more physical when it comes to rerouting wide receivers after the snap. Then, he comes equipped with the kind of speed (4.46 40-yard dash) that gets him to stay attached to a wideout or immediately recover and close fast if he loses his footing.

And for a team needing to replace Jalen Ramsey, Porter Jr. would be a gift to the Rams. Blaine Grisak of SB Nation has Porter Jr. as the No. 1 option for the Rams.

Porter Jr. may lack change-of-direction skills. Plus, it’s a lot of pressure for a rookie to come in and replace a Super Bowl winner and one of the faces of the cornerback position. But, Porter Jr. watched plenty of football from his dad attacking quarterbacks to lining up in a conference that featured future first rounders Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave and 2023 first rounder Jaxson Smith-Njigba. At 6-foot-2, 193-pounds, he already has the towering frame desired to take on the best wide receiver option. And he’s got the aggression needed to set a future tone in the defense.

Porter Jr. already fired a stirring message for teams that overlooked his talents ahead of the draft to Heavy’s NFL senior reporter Matt Lombardo.

“I guess [the executives] didn’t watch my film,” Porter Jr. said during a recent appearance on Heavy Sports’ The Matt Lombardo Show, on behalf of the Call of Duty suite at the NFL draft. “Because before last season, for two years prior, I had Brent Pry (as defensive coordinator) and we weren’t really a press team, we played a lot of off (coverage).”

However, with the Steelers having the first selection of day two on Friday, perhaps Steel City will welcome in another Porter to their defense. And if Porter Jr. goes before No. 36, the Rams still have other intriguing options who were notable day one snubs.

2 Intriguing Passers Among the Available

There are two other notable day one snubs who could sway the Rams to take them in. Here’s who:

Will Levis: The Kentucky quarterback was once thought of as a top five pick. Now he’s still waiting on his name to be called. Levis already has this Rams connection — his offensive coordinator in 2021 was former Rams OC Liam Coen. That was also the season Levis saw his most yards (2,826) and touchdown passes (24).

Hendon Hooker: Perhaps the dual-threat Tennessee Volunteer will be available at 36 or beyond that. Hooker is the fourth-rated QB of the draft by Heavy’s Randy Mueller. Hooker, who threw for 3,135 yards and 27 touchdowns before his ACL tear in 2022, has been a popular Rams projection — which included ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. predicting a draft day trade on the morning of the event that would’ve gotten L.A. to take him at 31st overall. Unfortunately, that trade did not happen. But Hooker remains on the board.

Along with Forbes, edge rushers Will McDonald IV of Iowa State and Felix Anudike-Uzomah of Kansas State were Rams draft projections snatched in the first round. If the Rams still pivot to the trenches with their first pick, names like Keion White of Georgia Tech, Adetomiwa Adebawore of Northwestern and BJ Ojulari of LSU are still available for round two.

Read More