We’ve been waiting for this for a few years now. Which player on the Raiders’ defense will emerge as the unit’s second-best player after perennial All-Pro Khalil Mack? We have our answer through five weeks. That would be strong safety Karl Joseph. He’s played great ball for the last month for the Raiders.
Joseph has made the second-year leap we all hoped he would coming out of West Virginia. Keep in mind that he was a bit banged up coming out of the Big 12. A healthy Joseph looks to be one of the best young safeties in football. Joseph and the Atlanta Falcons’ Keanu Neal look to be the next two stars in NFL secondaries of that Kam Chancellor vein.
When he first came out of WVU, Joseph was known for his hard-hitting ability at safety. He could stack the box and thump bigger-bodied players in the run game. Now that he has got a better feel of what is expected out of him in coverage, Joseph is becoming a more complete player by the week.
He still needs to figure out how to force turnovers consistently, but he is beginning to give this Raiders’ secondary a bit of bite it hasn’t had for the last few years. Obviously, the cornerback situation in Oakland has been frustrating, but Joseph is a piece at strong safety Oakland can build on for the next several years.