Joey Porter Jr. Named Perfect Draft Fit for Ravens
The name Joey Porter strikes a chord in Ravens fans old enough to remember when the Steelers linebacker contributed ample fuel to the heated rivalry between the AFC North foes in the early to mid-2000s.
Ravens fans could have an entirely different feeling about the name when Baltimore makes its first-round pick in next month's draft. Cornerback prospect Joey Porter Jr. is the perfect draft fit for the Ravens, according to Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema
"Joey Porter Jr. would be a perfect fit for a Ravens secondary that needs a man coverage player opposite Marlon Humphrey," Sikkema wrote. "JPJ's height, arm length and wingspan were all above the 95th percentile for the position, and his scheme and style are a perfect match for Baltimore."
Porter has been linked to the Ravens in mock drafts, including one last week by NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah.
However, there's a good chance the Penn State star will be off the board before Baltimore is on the clock with the 22nd-overall pick.
The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec categorized Porter going to the Ravens as a "pipe dream."
"The Ravens love big, physical and confident corners, and Porter certainly fits that profile. But so do other teams," Zrebiec wrote. "Porter, the son of a former Steeler, would be a home run pick for Baltimore, but it probably won't get the chance."
Not surprisingly, quite a few mock drafts have the Steelers selecting Porter with the 17th-overall pick.
Ravens Among Teams Who Have Lost Most Talent This Offseason
The Ravens added their first outside free agent of the offseason last week when they agreed to a deal with veteran wide receiver Nelson Agholor.
With guard Ben Powers, tight end Josh Oliver, and offensive lineman Trystan Colon leaving in free agency and the trading of Chuck Clark for a 2024 seventh-round pick, the Ravens were named one of the teams that has lost the most talent this offseason by Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox.
"That's three key contributors Baltimore has lost this offseason with only a single complementary receiver coming in to offset them,' Knox wrote of Powers, Oliver, and Clark. "Presumably, the Ravens will reload in the draft, and there's nothing wrong with that. Their lack of moves to this point, though, leaves them with a big gap between losses and gains."
The Ravens might not be through losing key veterans, as defensive lineman Calais Campbell, cornerback Marcus Peters, and pass rusher Justin Houston are free agents. Baltimore has expressed interest in re-signing all three.
As for reloading in the draft, the Ravens only have five picks and do not own a second-round selection. However, it remains to be seen if they swing a trade or two to acquire more picks before or during the draft.
Would Ravens Trading for Dalvin Cook Make Sense?
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook reportedly is on the trade block, and the Ravens were named a logical landing spot for the four-time Pro Bowler by CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin.
"At full speed, Cook is still one of the NFL's best pure runners, fresh off a fourth straight 1,000-yard campaign. But he's going on 28 with a history of nagging injuries, has racked up 1,500 career touches and is due at least $14M in each of the next three years," Benjamin wrote. "Minnesota hasn't been shy about bidding fan favorites farewell to free up money this offseason. Cook's departure would save the Vikings almost $8M via trade, allowing Alexander Mattison to headline the next backfield rotation."
Benjamin did not elaborate on why he feels Baltimore is a good fit for Cook, but the pairing doesn't make much sense. The Ravens' biggest needs are wide receiver and cornerback and they don't have the cap space for a luxury move, which this would be. As previously mentioned, they also don't have a lot of draft capital.
The Ravens' top three running backs —J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill — are back next season and expected to be fully healthy now that they'll be two years removed from suffering season-ending injuries.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the NFL Owners Meeting yesterday that Dobbins and Edwards specifically "are going to be ready to shock the world" and "play great football."