Cowboys CB Kelvin Joseph wasn’t quite ready to start, but his ceiling is high and the future is bright

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Kelvin Joseph has all the physical ability and skill teams look for in cornerback prospects; it’s why he received a scholarship to an elite program like LSU. With elite size at 6-foot-1 and nearly 200 pounds and with just under 32 inch arms, Joseph showed out at his pro day with a 4.34 time in the 40, a 35 inch vertical, and a 10-foot-8 broad jump.

He was asked to follow top-five draft pick tight end Kyle Pitts. He locked down top-ten pick wideout Devonta Smith, including intercepting a pass from first-round pick Mac Jones on a go route. Joseph has fared well against the best competition from in his draft class.

The concerns with Joseph are not about talent or his physical gifts, but center more on off-the-field worries, along with inexperience. Joseph was suspended for a bowl game at LSU before transferring to Kentucky for the 2020 season. His dedication to his craft and moreso his response to coaching has been rumored to be a question at both collegiate stops. Those issues don’t normally disappear once millions of dollars are in play.

The player profile countdown continues with No. 24, rookie CB Kelvin Joseph.

Background Details

Jersey No.: 24 Position: Cornerback Age: 21 Height: 6-foot-1 Weight: 192 pounds Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana High School: Scotlandville Magnet College: LSU, Kentucky Draft: 2021 Round 2, No. 44 overall Acquired: Original Draft Pick

(Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

College Stats

Tackles

Def Int

Fumbles

LSU

SEC

FR

CB

6

11

1

12

0.0

0.0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Kentucky

SEC

SO

DB

9

14

11

25

0.5

0.0

4

62

15.5

1

1

0

0

Film Study with Voch Lombardi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmmqQpVpQYo

Player Profile

A preseason injury will delay Joseph's pro debut in 2021, as he's been placed on IR and will miss at least the first three weeks of the season. By the end of camp, it seemed clear he was not going to start the year in the lineup, but he showed more than enough upside during camp to think he could challenge Anthony Brown for a starting gig at some point in the season. Physically Joseph is as gifted as any corner; size, speed, excellent in the Cover 3 zone scheme Dan Quinn is known to run for his defense. Joseph is only 20 years old, the youngest player on the Cowboys roster, and has played in only 15 total college football games. Joseph also played almost exclusively in zone, being asked to play only 25 snaps of man coverage. He's a playmaker and with experience that should emerge, but his inexperience causes him to make mistakes on the field. Joseph will bite on fakes and gets beaten by double moves. This isn't a big deal for most 20 year olds or second round rookies, but the success of last year's second round pick, Trevon Diggs, there may be unnecessary pressure on Joseph early in his career. Fans are already hyper critical, complaining about Joseph coming into camp out of shape, getting beat occasionally in preseason games, and not being able to beat out veteran CB Anthony Brown for the starting corner spot opposite Diggs. Last year Diggs had enormous growing pains, getting thrown into the fire going one on one with the best week to week, and the Cowboys are likely wanting to avoid that in their secondary to start this season, and will let Brown start until they feel Joseph is ready. There is no doubt Joseph is the future with Diggs at the CB position, but if his timetable doesn't meet the same as Diggs, it doesn't mean who couldn't end up being the teams top CB in the near future.

You can find Mike Crum on Twitter @cdpiglet or at Youtube on the About the Cowboys Podcast. This profile is part of our countdown series to the regular season. For the full 90-man roster, go here. For our 53-man roster prediction, go here.

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