Photo of Sean Porter
Drafted By: Bengals

Combine Results

71.1 ?
  • 4.75 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 22 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 35.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 119.0 INCH
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"They need an outside linebacker, and with Porter, they got a player who brings them versatility." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'1" Height
  • 32 1/4" Arm Length
  • 229LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/4" Hands


Porter committed to then-Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin out of high school during the recruiting process, but decided to take his game to a better league (Big-12 versus Conference USA) when Mike Sherman and Texas A&M called. Now that Sumlin has relieved Sherman as the Aggies’ head coach for the 2012 season, Porter gets to suit up for the player-friendly but stern coach that once recruited him.

Sherman made good on any promises he may have given to Porter about playing time in his freshman year. He played in all 13 games, starting twice -– including the team’s Independence Bowl loss to Georgia, while making 42 tackles, four for loss, and a sack. The following year he was credited with 74 stops, seven for loss and six pass break-ups (with three against Oklahoma) while starting every contest. Once Porter’s All-American teammate, Von Miller, was picked second overall in the 2011 draft by Denver, the pass-rusher mantle was passed; the honorable mention All-Big 12 selection accumulated 79 stops, 17 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks as a junior in the Aggies’ 3-4 defense.

With a new coaching staff came a new scheme, and in Porter’s senior year he played both the strong side and weakside linebacker spots in a 4-3 defense. He went through some growing pains and saw a dip in production (66 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 1 interception), but developed in many key areas, particularly in pass coverage.



Athletic linebacker with the short-area quickness and football IQ to switch from playing the run to checking a slot receiver to attacking a scrambling quarterback on the same play. Good speed in the open field, and can burst to close in pursuit. Effective pass rusher with a good first step and flexibility to get under a tackle’s upfield shoulder, a shimmy inside to get the direct lane, and also a quick spin move helps him get off leaning tackles. Has a nice inside counter for when tackles start overplaying his speed rush outside. Occasionally gets under the pads of taller tackles to bull them into the quarterback. Slippery blitzer who knows how to get skinny through inside lanes. Breaks down in a hurry to wrap up ball carriers, brings a bit of pop despite his average size. Fluid hips changing directions. Really progressed as a senior in coverage of tight ends and slot receivers, gets his hands on them at the line of scrimmage and crossing over the middle, and the click-and-close ability to break on the ball quickly on underneath throws. Takes on fullbacks, goes lows to win leverage and make plays on inside runs.


Undersized with long legs and short arms, lacking in explosive speed and great length. As a pass rusher, he’s more of a blitzer than a true outside edge rusher. Can set the edge against weaker tight ends, but can get engulfed at the point of attack by most tackles and pro-caliber tight ends. Can get lost in no-man’s land in coverage. Does not use his hands effectively to beat cut blocks. Very little pop in his hands or his tackles, and he has a tendency to lunge. Good burst filling inside and in pursuit, but can get out of control and doesn’t always display a good understanding timing and angles. Will need to be protected by a solid defensive line in the NFL.

NFL Comparison

Michael Boley

Bottom Line

Though not quite as big, long, or explosive as former All-American teammate and the 2011 draft’s second overall pick, Von Miller, Porter is athletic and productive (17 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks in 2011) enough to be an early-round selection capable of handling all starting linebacker duties in any defensive scheme. His build and playing style makes him a bit of a tweener, but his athleticism and progression in coverage as a senior suggest he might fare best as a weakside linebacker in a 4-3.
Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.