It was quite clear from the get go that the Bengals would draft a linebacker at some point in the draft — it was just a matter of where. Many analysts and writers were convinced that it would be in the first or second round of the draft, but after signing former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison last week, the buzz was that they no longer needed to get one so early and would instead add depth to the position.
That is exactly what they did too by adding Porter to the mix in the fourth round. Porter is an effective pass rusher and has great speed in the open field that comes in very handy when he steps out to cover a slot receiver. He is easily able to move from blocking the run out to zone coverage when necessary and despite his size (6-foot-1, 229 pounds), he has proven in his senior year that he is highly capable of covering a tight end too.
Totaling 261 tackles during his time in college, along with 14.5 sacks, Porter has shown that he is versatile linebacker, and working with Harrison next season could prove that signing the latter was the perfect offseason move for the Bengals.
The biggest down side to Porter is his size, his short arms and his lack of explosive speed off the line, but these are definitely things that the Bengals can work around so that they don’t become issues of the future for him.