Karl Joseph was not a household name heading into the 2016 NFL Draft, but when the Oakland Raiders selected him with the No. 14 overall pick there were a lot of football fans googling his name. There were a lot of fans who were upset with the Raiders’ decision to select him so high, but he will prove every single critic that he has wrong.
Oakland has needed help in their secondary over the last couple of seasons, and Joseph is the type of playmaker that can help fix the problems. He was a leader during his career with the West Virginia Mountaineers and will be asked to continue that role in the NFL. Joseph is a big, hard-hitting safety and will always look to rock the world of any receiver or running back that comes into his territory.
He is capable of making an impact in ever facet of the game, which is why he shot up draft boards throughout the draft process.
Last season as a member of the Mountaineers, Joseph racked up 20 total tackles, a sack, five interceptions, and a defensed pass in just four games. Those numbers are absolutely ridiculous to think about. He could very well end up being one of the best players in the entire draft if he can live up to his potential.
Over the last couple of seasons, the Raiders have been one of the easiest teams to pass on. They have given up big yardage through the air, but that is something that they want to stop. Joseph is going to be an immediate impact against the pass and will be a threat to pick a pass off at any moment.
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network gave Joseph two extremely generous comparisons. He said that Joseph is compared to both Brian Dawkins and Bob Sanders, with Earl Thomas being mentioned as well. Both of those players were stars in their day, and if Joseph can live up to those comparisons, he will be a dominant all-around player.
“With his range, toughness and ability to drop down in the slot and cover man, he’s like a poor man’s Earl Thomas. He says he models his game after Brian Dawkins. Some say he’s much like Bob Sanders. This is a dynamic playmaker.”
Hearing Joseph compare himself to Dawkins should excite Raiders fans as well. He obviously has a lot of confidence in himself to make that comparison, and it shows the thirst to be the best.
Joseph is coming off of a torn ACL, which is a major concern for any player at any position. Coming back strong from an ACL tear has become much easier thanks to the advancement that medicine has made. He can also get a little too aggressive when it comes to making plays, which can lead to big plays against him if he misses.
At 5-foot-10 and 205 pounds, Joseph will make his presence felt with big hits immediately. Opposing players will learn to shy away from him rather than taking bone crushing blows.
Expect to see the Raiders come away looking like geniuses for drafting Joseph with their first round pick. He will immediately become one of their best defensive players and could become a franchise defender at some point in the future. Oakland made the right choice with their pick, and Joseph will prove them right.
What do you think of the Oakland Raiders selecting Karl Joseph with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft? Do you think he will be able to break into stardom, or will he end up being another Raiders’ bust? Let us know in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/Raymond Thompson]