Oakland Raiders: 5 best defensive players heading into the bye

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Strong Safety. West Virginia Mountaineers. Karl Joseph. 2. player. 28.

It’s safe to say that Oakland’s first round pick from the 2016 NFL Draft is hitting in strong safety Karl Joseph, pun intended. Though it is up in the air if he will have a long shelf live in the NFL due to his reckless abandon nature of playing strong safety, he’s pretty good for the Raiders when he’s out there.

Pro Football Focus has Joseph with a strong 83.6 overall grade. He is one of three Raiders defenders that plays a ton that grades out above average on better on this defense. Joseph does a little bit of everything in this defense. He has an 80.1 run defense grade, a 74.0 coverage grade and a 73.9 pass rushing grade.

Ideally, Ken Norton Jr. would like to see Joseph improve in coverage, but does know that Joseph can make an impact when asked to play in an eight-man box. On the year, Joseph has 48 combined tackles, three pass breakups, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

To some degree, Joseph has made the second-year leap in this Raiders defense. The only issue with that is this might be it out of him. Has he reached his ceiling as a player? Not to say that Oakland wouldn’t take him being a top-10 strong safety in football, but I still feel like there is a little room for improvement out of Joseph, especially in coverage. He is a safety after all.