Karl Joseph Continues Dominance
Raiders first-round pick Karl Joseph, considered a reach by some shortly after the 2016 NFL draft, has reached new heights since taking over as the starter for veteran safety Keith McGill in Week 3, putting together another dominant performance in his most recent start against Tampa Bay.
Joseph, known for his ability to deliver hard hits and secure open field tackles as a box safety, left his mark on the Buccaneers’ ball carriers and even ventured outside of the box with some big plays in coverage.
Late in the fourth quarter, Joseph lowered his shoulder into Tampa Bay’s top receiver Mike Evans just as Winston’s pass reached Evans’ hands on third down, effectively jarring the ball loose and giving the Raiders a chance to get the job done offensively.
Joseph finished the game with a team-high seven tackles, one tackle for loss, and two pass deflections, and he now tied with his counterpart, safety Reggie Nelson, in combined tackles (43) despite seeing zero defensive snaps in the first two weeks of the season.
According to PFF.com, Joseph earned an 85.5 overall grade against the Buccaneers, good for the second-highest defensive grade on the team.
Joseph has emerged as a strong, impactful starter within Oakland’s inconsistent secondary because of his ability to quickly acclimate to the speed of the NFL and improve with each week, an essential characteristic to a young, inexperienced defender.