6 potential first-round targets if the Panthers make 2022 playoffs

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) Bijan Robinson
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) Bijan Robinson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Porter Jr. /

Carolina Panthers could draft Joey Porter Jr.

  • Cornerback | Penn State

Going after another cornerback in the first round would be surprising. However, it’s something that cannot be dismissed entirely based on what’s transpired in 2022.

The Carolina Panthers have one of the league’s best shutdown corners in Jaycee Horn, who’s enjoying a sensational campaign that came into the national spotlight with a coverage clinic against D.K. Metcalf at the Seattle Seahawks. But the ongoing injury concerns with Donte Jackson and C.J. Henderson’s up and down form could lead those in power into acquiring another prospect from the college ranks if the right opportunity comes along.

If this notion is taken seriously by the Panthers, then Joey Porter Jr. could be at the top of their list. The Penn State product has all the makings of a prolific NFL player, which his father Joey Porter Sr. was for more than a decade, making four Pro Bowls and gaining one All-Pro honor.

While that is a lofty bar for Porter Jr., there’s nothing to suggest he isn’t capable of becoming extremely productive right out of the gate. Something that’s increasingly evident with many top cornerbacks at the start of their NFL journeys.

Porter’s athleticism, fluid movements, and football IQ make him a tough proposition to overcome. He thrives in press coverage and if the player improves the tackling aspect of his production, it would be a major shock if he fell flat on his face.