Through a week and a half into free agency, the wide receiver position remains the most glaring need for the Baltimore Ravens. Still, cornerback is a very close second as three-time Pro Bowler Marcus Peters remains on the open market and the team has yet to sign an outside free agent at either spot.
If general manager Eric DeCosta waits until the 2023 NFL Draft to address the starting vacancy opposite All-Pro corner Marlon Humphrey, the NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, projected that he could find Peters’ replacement by selecting the offspring of a once hated yet respected rival at No. 22 overall in his latest mock draft.
“How fun would this be? Joey Porter to the Ravens,” Jeremiah wrote. “That just sounds amazing. He would be a tremendous value at a position of need for Baltimore.”
The former Ravens and Philadephia Eagles scout turned lead draft analyst predicting the son retired of Pittsburgh Steelers four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker, Joey Porter, would be poetic justice given all the havoc he caused during his time as part of one of the fiercest rivalries in all of sport.
It would also provide the team with one of the most aggressive perimeter pairings in the league as Humphrey and the former Penn State product especially excel in press-man coverage and being physical at the line of scrimmage as well as at the catch point.
During his four years with the Nittany Lions, Porter appeared in 34 games and recorded 113 total tackles, including 2 for loss, one sack, one interception, one fumble recovery, and 20 pass deflections, including a career-high 11 in 2022 according to Sports Reference.
Porter Would Welcome Being Drafted By Ravens
Despite his father’s history and allegiance to their longtime archrivals, the projected first-round prospect told reporters at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine that getting selected to come to Baltimore would still “be a blessing” nonetheless.
“I really never had ill will to Baltimore,” Porter said on March 2, 2023. “That’s more my dad and his whole rivalry with them. I just love the game of football. If I end up there, that would be a blessing.”
Not only would he embrace the chance to play for the Ravens where he would be reunited with his former college teammate Odafe Oweh who the team took in the first round in 2021 but Porter would also be joining a defense that fits the style of football he plays his best at.
“I would say I’m a physical press corner that’s going to get in your face, do my job, and do it well,” Porter said.
While he also said that he felt like “the best corner” that attended the draft, he wasn’t one of the brightest standouts. He still tested well but opted not to work out which he will do at the Penn State Pro Day on March 24, 2023.
There is a chance that Porter might not make it to his dad’s former rival because his former team is slated to pick five spots ahead of them. The Steelers hold the No. 17 overall pick in this year’s draft and even though they addressed the corner position already with the free agency signing of eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson, taking Porter to pair with him and be their future No. 1 corner makes a lot of sense.
Top ESPN Analyst Sticks with Same Prediction for Ravens
While Jeremiah has mocked three different prospects in each of his first mock drafts, ESPN’s Mel Kiper didn’t budge in his latest first-round projections and still has the team selecting former Boston College standout wide receiver Zay Flowers at No. 22 overall.
“The dynamic Flowers is a favorite of mine in this class,” Kiper wrote. “While some in the NFL see him strictly as a slot receiver, he actually had five touchdowns when lined up outside last season (and seven from the slot). Though he’s only 5-foot-9, he could be used everywhere. He forced 25 missed tackles last season, third-most in the country for a wideout. He could thrive with [Lamar] Jackson in Baltimore, especially with new coordinator Todd Monken opening up the offense.”
In his final collegiate season, Flowers broke out and set career highs across the board with 78 receptions, 1077 receiving yards, 12 receiving touchdowns, and 1117 scrimmage yards per Sports Reference. He is a big play threat waiting to happen every time he touches the ball with the dynamic skillset to both make defenders miss in space and stretch the field in new offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s scheme.
Despite being undersized at 5-foot-9 and 182 pounds, Flowers’ explosive playmaking potential should outweigh any concerns about his less-than-ideal measurables. While their offense could use a bigger-bodied player at the position, what they need more is a difference maker no matter the frame or physical dimensions.