Oakland Raiders: 5 players that can improve this defense

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Quarterback Carson Palmer
GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Quarterback Carson Palmer /
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player. 28. . Safety. West Virginia Mountaineers. Karl Joseph. 1

Safety Karl Joseph is the one player on the Raiders defense that can go from good to great in his second year in the league. The former blue-chipper out of West Virginia was a first-round pick by the Raiders in the 2016 NFL Draft.

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While he was banged up for most of his rookie season, he was still one of the better defensive backs of his rookie class.

Along with Keanu Neal of the Atlanta Falcons, that might have been the two best rookie safeties last year in the NFL. Both showcased that they can eventually star in this league in the defensive backfield.

Joseph’s ability to dominate in run defense with his heavy-hitting only accentuates his ability to make plays on the ball between the hash marks in the passing game. He’s a highly skilled player and a guy that picks up things quickly. Frankly, he has the ability to carry this secondary if he has to this season.

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The key for Joseph will be to find consistency as a second year player. Consistency is the hardest trait to establish professionally any way. However, Joseph seems to have his health heading into year two. If any Raider makes that jump from year one to year two, it has to be Joseph, right? He might be the other perennial Pro Bowler besides Mack on this Raiders defense.