Morning Sports Update

Patriots projected to take a cornerback in the latest ESPN mock draft

Mel Kiper Jr. also said he could see New England picking a wide receiver.

Joey Porter Jr. Patriots mock draft
Joey Porter Jr. runs during the NFL rookie combine in March, 2023. Michael Conroy/AP Photo

Tonight, the Bruins host the Senators at 7 p.m.

Elsewhere, the Celtics will be Sacramento to play the Kings at 10 p.m.

On Monday night, Japan beat Mexico 6-5 on a walk-off hit to advance to the final of the World Baseball Classic. Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida hit a seventh-inning game-tying home run, and was instrumental in his team’s semifinal victory.

After Yoshida drew a walk in the bottom of the ninth, the pinch-runner who replaced him scored the winning run:

The United States and Japan play in the WBC championship game tonight starting at 7 p.m. on FS1.


As the mock drafts turn: The NFL Draft begins on April 27, which at this point means that fans (and media) still have over a month to speculate about what each team will (or won’t) do.

The latest version comes from ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., who has previously projected cornerback Devon Witherspoon and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba to the Patriots with the 14th pick.

In his newest mock draft, Kiper sees New England selecting cornerback Joey Porter Jr. out of Penn State.

“Porter is a 6-foot-2 press cornerback whose 4.46-second 40-yard dash at the combine was stellar for his size,” wrote Kiper. “He didn’t allow any touchdowns in coverage last season. He’s physical — he’ll tackle in the run game. I see Porter as a player who could thrive for Bill Belichick’s defense.”

Porter, 22, is ranked as the No. 3 cornerback in the draft, according to Pro Football Focus. His father, Joey Porter Sr., was an NFL linebacker for both the Dolphins and Steelers, and someone who — in the midst of playing for New England rivals — notably said in 2009 that he had a “natural hate” for the Patriots.

Kiper, pointing to recent New England free agent additions Mike Gesicki and JuJu Smith-Schuster, explained that he could still see a the Patriots going with wide receiver, but that the team no longer needs to.


“That doesn’t mean they won’t, just that it’s no longer a critical void,” Kiper said of New England’s potentially drafting a wide receiver in the first round.

Trivia: Joey Porter (father of the current NFL draft prospect) was a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. Can you name the other five linebackers included on the roster?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: One played for the Buccaneers, one for the Ravens, one for the Bears, one for the Cowboys (later the Broncos), and one for the Dolphins (along with one season with the Cowboys).

More from

Another No. 1 goes down: Top-seeded Indiana lost to Miami on Monday, 70-68 on a late go-ahead shot from the Hurricanes.

One from UConn: On the way to their 29th consecutive trip to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament, Connecticut’s Nika Muhl drilled a half-court three at the first half buzzer.

MLS announced that Arsenal will play in the All-Star Game: As a result of the English team’s participation, former Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner could feature against a few of his former New England teammates. The game is scheduled for July 19 in Washington D.C.

On this day: In 1953, the Celtics defeated the Syracuse Nationals 111-105 in four overtimes. Amid a truly remarkable game, Bob Cousy scored 50 points, making an impressive 30 of an even more astounding 32 free throws.


The game saw 106 fouls called, and eventually included multiple ejections. It would later be cited as a possible example of why the NBA eventually adopted the shot clock in 1954.

As for the game, there was really only one postgame description of events.

“The Cooz did everything but take tickets,” wrote Boston Globe reporter John Ahern. Boston, having completed the best-of-three sweep of Syracuse, moved on to face the Knicks in the Eastern Division Finals.

1953 Celtics

Daily highlight: Earlier in the Japan-Mexico game, Randy Arozarena took a possible home run away with his catch at the wall.

Trivia answer: Derrick Brooks, Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, DeMarcus Ware, and Zach Thomas


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on