With the 14th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders selected West Virginia safety Karl Joseph. What does that staff at S&BP think of the pick and how would they grade it?
Karl Joseph was my favorite player in the 2016 NFL Draft. I have been reiterating that statement since last September when I wrote a detailed scouting report on the West Virginia safety. Joseph plays much larger than his size (5'10", 205 lbs) and is arguably the hardest hitting tackler in the entire draft. He is a missile that flies to the football, but he also excels in pass coverage as he recorded 5 interceptions in the 4 games he played in 2015 before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
Safety was the Raiders top need entering the draft and the addition of Joseph helps fill the hole as he can play single-high safety, drop down in the box, and also blitz effectively. He's a weapon because he can do just about anything you ask him to do which is different than most of the safeties in this draft who have limits. Joseph is was a team captain at West Virginia and his style of play will ignite the Raiders defense.
Absolutely killer pick for the Raiders. All for best-player-available (and maybe Joseph was on Oakland's board), but to get a high-level guy at one of the team's biggest positions of needs was a home run. Add into the conversation the fact that every college football writer on Twitter raved about the pick (as a player and a person) - saying things like this
( https://twitter.com/mattrhinton/status/725865152747184128 ) and this
( http://twitter.com/ChrisSedenka/status/725866402192711686 ) - and it's safe to say that tonight was a really good night for Oakland.
I love Karl Joseph. When you look at the highlight tapes of players this draft cycle, there are a few that make you stand up and holler like the bench of the Warriors after Steph Curry hits some circus three pointer. There are a few tapes that make your chest hurt out of sympathy for the person being tackled or run over. There are some tapes so impressive, that on it the player ceases to be wearing his uniform, but in your mind's eye he dons the Silver and Black. Joseph is one of those players, and his work at safety is the most impressive I have seen since Ed Reed.
With that being said, I don't like the value at Pick 14. This draft was about six-deep with elite players, six-deep with REALLY good players, and then about forty deep with good players- guys who could go late first, early second. Joseph was, only because of his relatively short stature, in that third group so I feel Reggie should have traded back and could have still got Joseph. However, I am sure the Steelers had their eye on him and we know Reggie doesn't care about value because he took DJ Hayden at Pick 13. If he likes his guy, he takes his guy. Joseph is his guy, and God help the receivers of the AFC West.
Marcus Allen Krause
The Raiders absolutely still needed to add another Safety to the roster and they got a good one in the 1st round with Karl Joseph. Part of me is disappointed because despite the knee problem I still wanted Myles Jack but it's hard to complain about getting Joseph.
Oakland absolutely needed a young leader in the secondary to lead this youthful defense for years to come. Karl Joseph fits the bill as a passionate enforcer on the back end. There might have been more exciting players available yet but getting Joseph is a practical pick that fills a major need for the Raiders defense.
First of all, Joseph is a baller. In many ways I see Earl Thomas qualities to him, though he has been compared to Eric Weddle and Bob Sanders. It's the reason he topped my Raider Draft Radar for safeties. He graded out as a late first round, early second round pick which means he was seen as a bit of a reach at this spot, but if the Raiders really liked him, they knew he would not be there when they selected at 44 overall in the second round.
And for as much as Reggie McKenzie preaches 'Best Player Available' there is no doubt he went with need with this pick. Some people think that a team should be pure BPA while others think you should consider need. There is room for both and the Raiders leaned heavily to need. I don't have a big issue with it, though there was Shaq Lawson on the board, who I thought was higher value and Myles Jack (whose injury appears to be more of a concern than originally hoped), there weren't any 'must have' players outside of that.