Of all the players in the Raiders’ secondary, one could easily argue that second-year safety Karl Joseph has had the best training camp/preseason combo. He played very well against the Arizona Cardinals in preseason Week 1, but wasn’t as solid against the Los Angeles Rams last week.
He looks to be healthier than he was last year, so that’s a big plus for him and the Raiders’ defensive backfield. However, he’ll have to go up with one of the best tight ends in NFL history in future Pro Football Hall of Famer Jason Witten.
Though Joseph likes to play up in the box and lay down some heavy hits in run defense, he’ll have to feel great about his preseason if he can contain Witten on one of his patented slants across the middle a few times. It’s one of those plays where you know it’s coming, you can’t stop it and you just have to deal with it. That’s why Witten belongs in Canton.
Fortunately for the Raiders, Joseph’s best play of the preseason came against another blue-chip player in Cardinals running back David Johnson. Joseph had a signature hit on Johnson early in preseason Week 1. To this point, that is one of the two highlights from this Raiders defense. This is a big opportunity for Joseph, so hopefully he takes advantage of it.