Getting to Know: Tracy Porter


Porter_medium

You wanted a cornerback? Well you got one! Embrace him. Unfortunately, if you wanted a shut down franchise corner to totally turn this secondary around, I don't think this is your guy. But it is an improvement. Okay, anything is an improvement, but whatever. Porter is projected to be only a number two guy who will need to cut his teeth in a nickel package. Porter likes being dramatic and giving a big cushion so he can make a play on the ball. That could wind up biting him in the ass more often than not. He is also on the smaller side which means he will have problems against some of the NFL's biggest and baddest. He is also a weak tackler (which sucks cause we really need some tacklers).

His upside is more his finesse play making ability. The most important thing to remember is that he is a cover corner who thrives in man-to-man. Think Deion Sanders(we can only wish) without the dancing.  But that means on those long deep routes our opponents throw that always just burn us (I get angry just picturing them. Always on third and long!!) we have a guy who can stay with them and keep our heart rate down. And for those of you who were looking for some special teams help, this guy is it. He is a good punt returner and gunner. As far as character is concerned, this kid has no problems. No past offenses or run-ins with the law. In fact he was a team captain his senior year.

 

Bio and Combine

Name School Position DOB Ht. Wt. 40-Time Bench Press Vertical Jump 3-Cone
Tracy Porter Indiana Cornerback 8/11/86 5'10" 188   4.37    18    34    7.2

 

College Stats

Year GP Tackles Pass Break Ups Int. Yds.
2004 7  22 6 3 115
2005 11 48 6 3 108
2006 12 59 8 4 53
2007 13 83 4 6 137
Total 43 212 24 16 413

 

 

 

I figure the experts can explain it better than I ever good. And, oh yeah, I have never seen him play. Check out New Era Scouting for a very complete scouting report.  The following is his scouting info from  NFL.com , NFL Draft Countdown, and ESPN Insider respectively in each section.

The Good...

Positives:

Has good arm length, a bit high-cut, but has large, natural hands to make the interception...His speed is his best asset, evident when returning interceptions or kicks or getting downfield to cover on the punt team...Runs with a smooth stride and has exceptional quickness and burst...Possesses good change-of-direction agility and body control, as well as quick feet to redirect (does struggle to come out of breaks cleanly, though)...Competes hard as a gunner on punt and punt-return teams...Does a fairly good job in tight man coverage, giving his opponents little stabs and showing good athletic ability...Needs to react to the plays with better urgency, but takes good angles to close...Adequate reading routes, but can be disruptive with his hands on the press and is better when he mirrors the receiver throughout the route rather than when playing off the man...Shuffles his feet most of the time in his backpedal, but does build to top speed well as the route extends, showing decent hip sink and balance...Better to see plays develop when in a Cover-2 or "quarters" coverage...Has the speed to catch up and close the cushion with the ball in flight and shows good ball skills and hands to reach and extend for the ball away from his frame...Needs to develop cleaner feet to stick in his breaks, but shows good hand usage in attempts to reroute his opponent...Has the rare speed to run with his opponent on deep patterns and, if given room, he can slip and avoid blocks with his quickness...Has exceptional leaping ability to compete for jump balls (will get knocked around a bit) and catch the pass at its highest point...Able to extend and make plays on the ball over his head and has good vision running with the pigskin, knowing when to get "skinny" in order to slip through tight creases...Does good things with the ball in his hands as a return specialist, showing run instincts and flashing elusiveness, with good production...As a gunner, he eludes blockers one-on-one and gets downfield quickly, showing good competitiveness.

Strengths:
An outstanding athlete...Good height with long arms...Great timed speed..Is quick and explosive...Has a burst to recover...Excellent hands...Top ball skills...Has fluid hips and is very agile...Is able to stick with any wideout step-for-step...A threat to score every time he touches the ball...He also has a lot of special teams potential.

Strengths:

Possesses adequate-to-good height, adequate bulk and outstanding straight-line speed. Has quick feet and fluid hips. Can change directions quickly and displays excellent catch-up burst when the ball is in the air. Shows impressive natural instincts and typically is able to make a quick break on the ball. Does not get caught peeking in the backfield often. He is able to read the QB's eyes and show great anticipation beating the receiver to the spot on underneath routes. Shows very good ball skills, including good timing on leaps and soft hands. Was a major threat with the ball in his hands in college both on interceptions and in the return game. Has the hands, vision and second gear to make an impact on punt returns in the NFL.

The Bad...

Negatives:

Has a slender build with a thin chest and smooth legs, but if he adds more bulk, it will impact his overall quickness...Has shown better courage playing vs. the run, but his lack of strength will see him get rag-dolled by bigger blockers often...Has decent ability in press coverage, but gets lots of balls caught on him underneath, as he prefers to give up a big cushion...Durable athlete, but lacks toughness and it is rare to see him stick his hat into the action (prefers to make plays in the open than in closed quarters), but did show better tackling effort as a senior than he did earlier in his career...Has good hip snap, but needs to open them quicker to come out of his breaks cleanly...Has had problems academically and will need more than a few reps to retain plays...Has matured off the field, but does not handle tough coaching well...Slow to read and react to the ball and his low test score indicates he might have problems digesting a complicated playbook...Must play with better urgency when he sees the play develop (does not close in a hurry)...Best when he stays tight on the receiver's hip, as he lacks the recovery quickness to get back into the action when the receiver gets behind him (has great timed speed, but poor cutting ability negates his explosion)...Needs to be monitored in the training room and pushed in practice (not a self-starter)...Must work on improving his backpedal, as he doesn't stay in it long enough and uses a straddle-and-bail technique that allows speedier receivers to gain good separation...Tends to get up on his toes when backpedaling, causing him to struggle to turn cleanly...Just adequate playing in the zone, as he lacks urgency to handle switch-offs and waits for the play to come to him rather than initiate contact...Too inconsistent tracking the ball in flight and would much rather make a big play on the ball than attack a target...Even with his impressive leaping ability, his timing is off and he does not show good urgency to ride up over the receiver to compete for jump balls...Has natural hands, but struggles to locate the ball with his back to the quarterback...Made considerably more plays vs. the run as a senior than his first three years combined (in the past, he would not come up in run force, letting others make the play)...Generally takes a side or will swipe at the ankles when tackling, as he either lacks courage or knows he doesn't have the power to generate pop on contact and must also show better hand technique to wrap-up and secure...Gets engulfed by bigger blockers when playing near the line and has marginal strength, getting washed out often when asked to take on the lead blocker in run support...Never really embraced the fact that he is a football player until his senior year (just seemed to be going through the motions too often in the past)...Needs to play with better control, as he had a high amount of foolish penalties (nine) in 2007 that proved costly.

Weaknesses:

Doesn't have the bulk you look for...Is not very physical...Has to get stronger...Is just an average tackler...Will have some trouble getting a jam at the line...Gives a big cushion and will give up some easy catches..Marginal technique and footwork.

Weaknesses:

Lacks ideal strength and only adequate bulk. Not physical enough. Needs to get stronger and tougher in order to hold up in the NFL. Does not support the run nearly as well as his 2007 tackles total (83) would indicate. Looks to avoid contact as much as possible. Will get pushed around at times and struggles to get off of blocks. Also allows bigger receivers to dictate routes.

Let's hear your thoughts, hopes, dreams and fears!

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