The fact that he led the Big 12 with 9.5 sacks and was third in the conference with 17 tackles for loss as Miller's replacement at "joker" for the Aggies as a junior would seem to provide ample evidence that this comparison holds true. New head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff, however, thought Porter might be able to help more in coverage, assigning the pass rushing duties to 6-4, 250-pound junior Damontre Moore and asking Porter to play a more traditional outside linebacker role, similar to the role he'd originally played.
Porter signed with Texas A&M as a relatively lightly recruited prospect but quickly made his impact on the Aggies, starting two games and recording 43 tackles and four tackles for loss in 2009. As a full-time starter in 2010, Porter flashed the ability to rack up tackles that would earn him all-conference honors a year later, recording 73 tackles, including seven tackles for loss and six pass breakups.
Having established himself as difference-maker in multiple roles, Porter ranks among the more intriguing linebackers of the 2013 draft class and a potential top 64 prospect.
Porter, however, is at his best in pursuit of ballcarriers on the flanks and operating in coverage due to his athleticism, including impressive straight-line speed. He shows good strength to set the edge and the agility to avoid blocks and make tackles in the running game.
He's fluid and fast enough that he's often asked to line up over the slot and handle quick coverage responsibilities; traits that could earn him a spot as a weak-side linebacker in a predominantly 4-3 aligned team in the NFL.
WEAKNESSES: Scouts would like to see him play with greater physicality as he too often relies on his athleticism to beat blockers to the action rather than taking them on physically. His speed and flexibility allow him to slip under pass blockers and get to the quarterback but too often once he's locked up, he is unable to separate. Generally reliable open-field tackler but this lack of ideal physicality shows up as a hitter, as well. He has a tendency to grab and pull down ball-carriers, rather than exploding into his opponents. Porter's long legs and aggression also make him a bit prone to over-running plays, allowing cut-back lanes for patient ball-carriers.
COMPARES TO: Nick Barnett, OLB, Buffalo Bills -- Like the former Oregon State standout, Porter is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, master of none type. His size and athleticism, however, is sure to draw plenty of admirers on draft day and he should prove to be a capable starter early in his NFL career.