Violence. That’s what we can expect from Karl Joseph in his second season. The Oakland Raiders banked on drafting a playmaker when they made the safety the No. 14 overall pick in this past draft. The rookie flashed glimpses of just that. Rare looks will become frequent with another off-season under Joseph’s belt.
In 12 games, the 5-foot-10, 207-pound former West Virginia Mountaineer racked up 60 tackles (44 solo). Equally important, Joseph snared an interception and six pass deflections in a solid, yet shortened rookie debut. Willing to get his nose dirty against the run, Joseph attacks opponents with abandon. The sure-tackling safety hits like a much bigger man, laying wood on opposing ball carriers. Neither receivers or running backs are safe.
However, focusing on one aspect of Joseph’s skill set does the rest of his talent a disservice. Many praised his coverage skills more than his tackling ability in college and that transitioned well in the pros.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell quantified the impact after taking a look at how Joseph destroyed opposing quarterbacks’ QBR. “With Joseph off the field, the Raiders have allowed a 76.2 QBR, which would be the worst figure in the league by nearly 10 points,” Barnwell noted. “That’s compared with a 51.2 QBR allowed with Joseph on the field at safety, which would be the best figure in the league by nearly five points.”
Awards:: cover32’s end-of-season awards
All this despite missing most of the Raiders’ offseason workout program as he recovered from an ACL injury he suffered his senior season at WVU. Yet, Joseph’s made his presence known to opponents. Healthy heading into the offseason, Joseph prepares himself for full participation in the Raiders’ offseason program. Similarly, more reps will equal quicker reaction times, resulting in Joseph bringing the pain.
Raiders.com Insider Eddie Paskal:
“I’m making the commitment to myself and this team to get better for us next year.”
– Karl Joseph pic.twitter.com/7xdcRL7Pdh
— Eddie Paskal (@EddiePaskal) January 8, 2017
Other than health to watch with Joseph is walking the line between aggression and borderline. For example, these two plays blur the boundaries of clean.
In Joseph, the Oakland Raiders have a safety to building the secondary around.