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2016 NFL Draft: at #14 Oakland selects Karl Joseph

Pick AnalysisWith the 14th pick of the 2016 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders select Karl Joseph, Safety, West Virginia.


Pick Analysis

With the 14th pick of the 2016 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders select Karl Joseph, Safety, West Virginia. He is not a big safety but he hits like a truck. His length is well above his range and he is very quick. With their aging safeties, this injection of youth is a needed antidote. He comes into a very good defence and only makes them better. Joseph fills a need for the Raiders with retirement of Charles Woodson. He is young, hungry and with his size has always had to prove himself. Plays with a chip on his shoulder that only makes him better. The Raiders are clearly a fan of his and will be very happy he has arrived in their lap. Not a household name, but someone who can be a difference maker. (Thomas Clapham)

Player Analysis

A combination of his size not suiting the minimum requirements at safety for some teams, missing the majority of the 2015 season with a knee injury and the sheer strength in depth at the top of this draft all could result in Joseph not hearing his name called Thursday night on the first day of the draft.  That might prove to be a league-wide error should it occur, as Joseph is one of the best pure football players in this year’s class.  Last year I adamantly backed linebacker Erick Kendricks as one of the ten best prospects in that draft; this year I’m insisting on Joseph as a high first rounder.  The Mountaineers safety has clocked a lot of playing time in his college career, starting all 13 games as a true freshman and going on to start all his first three years with the team.  He’s an absolute rocket with superb range to fly all over the field both in coverage and in run support.  Despite being relatively short, he’s not slightly built, and is known in particularly for his intensely physical style of play that sees him flatten ball carriers, that is after showing off his incredible closing speed.  While that results in a highlight reel that looks outstanding played back to back, his 2014 junior film was also interspersed with far too many missed tackles and leaving wide open space as he abandoned some assignments, making him somewhat of a liability at times as a result.  Joseph is an intelligent guy though and fully realised that he needed to be less wild in his playing style, and made a lot of effort in the off-season before the start of his senior year to improve his discipline.  It certainly paid off as well; in his opening 3 games of the season, Joseph’s play was sensational, looking much more disciplined and controlled, while not losing any of his elite playmaking ability.  That made it all the more gutting when after collecting 5 interceptions in those first 3 games, he suffered a non-contact injury to his knee in practice that ended his season.  While he’s well on his way to fully recovering, he still wasn’t quite ready to take part in the combine just past, but still made a positive impression when interviewed, showing his passion in his desire to be out there competing and proving that he’s the best.  Joseph is a complete safety, who has outstanding awareness, vision, and understanding to position himself to make plays.  He is equally adept at charging downfield to support the run with his devastating hitting, as he is covering deep, whether it’s reading the QB to even playing man coverage over a slot receiver.  This is a great talent and is going to make teams pay if he’s still on the board on day two of the draft. (Rebecca Rennie)

Grade B


2016 NFL Draft: at #14 Oakland selects Karl Joseph

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