Joey Porter Jr.'s bold claim is disrespectful to Sauce Gardner

Sauce Gardner is the best CB in the NFL — not Joey Porter Jr.
Joey Porter Jr.
Joey Porter Jr. / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Anyone who knows Joey Porter knows that he was a brash loudmouth who certainly didn't lack confidence. It should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that the former 13-year linebacker's son, Joey Porter Jr., is now up to his father's old boisterous tricks.

This past week, Porter made the claim that after a total of 11 career starts, he is the best cornerback in the NFL. Not Sauce Gardner. Not Patrick Surtain II. Not Jaylon Johnson. Joey Porter Jr.

There is absolutely no doubt that Porter is a supremely talented young corner with the potential to climb the ranks of the great defensive backs in the NFL in the coming years, but to say that he is already the single best cornerback in the league is premature, to say the least.

There are several proven veterans who are still ahead of him, and there is one who is actually the best cornerback in the league, who should especially take issue with these remarks.

According to Pro Football Focus, Joey Porter Jr. ranked 20th in the NFL amongst cornerbacks through Week 18 of 2023. That is a solid rank for a rookie who only began to start midway through the season, but No. 1 on that list is NY Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner.

The concept that Porter is even in the same tier as Gardner is comical, let alone the best that there is. Anyone can respect the confidence, but it is just an absolutely absurd statement.

Sauce Gardner is the NFL's best cornerback, not Joey Porter Jr.

In Gardner's 33 NFL starts, he has developed into one of the best defensive players in football. On top of winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, in both of his first two seasons in the NFL, he has been named first-team All-Pro.

He was arguably the biggest factor in the Jets finishing fourth in total team defense in 2022, and he was one of the key pieces that kept the entire team afloat during a historically tumultuous season in 2023.

If you want to argue that Porter is just a rookie, and shouldn't be compared to Gardner just yet, then let's take last year out. Though it is tough to measure a cornerback based on statistics, let's stack Porter's rookie year up against Gardner's.

Gardner started all 17 games, while Porter Jr. only started 11. Gardner finished with 75 tackles, while Porter Jr. finished with 43. Gardner finished with 20 passes defended with two interceptions, while Porter Jr. finished with 10 passes defended and just one interception.

And those are just the basic box score numbers — a deeper dive paints a very similar picture.

No matter how you slice this one, Porter is not the best cornerback in the league. He seems to think he is the only defensive back who shadows number one wide receivers throughout the game. Now that he has a full season to start, we can see what he is really made of

Maybe he will end up being right. Maybe he will have a breakout year, make an All-Pro team, and prove himself to be amongst the NFL's elite. Or maybe now that opposing coordinators and QBs have a full year of tape on him, they will be able to target his weaknesses and expose him on certain routes.

Until we see though, he has no business staking his claim as the top dog on the outside. That is Sauce Gardner's belt to lose for the foreseeable future.