Tha Sports Junkies 101

Karl Joseph is a Diamond in the Black Hole

Karl Joseph Alejandro Galicia via Flickr

Karl Joseph Sent to the Frontline

Oakland Raiders safety Karl Joseph did not make his debut until week three in 2016. However, once he stepped onto the field, he became an instant starter for the Silver and Black. Oakland needed help on the back end and they found it in the form of Joseph. Unfortunately for the Raiders and Joseph, injuries limited him this past season. If Oakland intends to return to the playoffs, they will need Joseph to be in his pads.

Time to Shine

Karl Joseph has displayed the potential to be an absolute stud. When he is on the field he is hardly slacking. Joseph missed just two tackles all season. In addition, in the 10 games he took a snap he posted 60 tackles. Not too shabby for a rookie. According to Pro Football Focus, he was 4th among rookie safeties in overall grade with a 77.5. While that number does not seem impressive, it is the second best grade out of Oakland’s active safeties. In addition, that number is over just 10 games as a rookie.

Turnovers will be essential plays for Karl Joseph to make. In 2016, Joseph registered one fumble recovery and one interception. Though he added six passes defended, a few more turnovers will pay heavy dividends. Also, his low rating when rushing the passer must be improved. Quarterback pressure from a safety blitz must be utilized for any defense’s success. The Raiders will need more production from last year’s first rounder.

Stop the Run

Karl Joseph’s middle of the pack Pro Football Focus grade does not come out of left field. He excelled in coverage, posting a grade of 78.8, ranking 31st among safeties. On the other side, Joseph did not fair as well against the run. His 61.6 rating puts him at the bottom of the bucket, tied for 76th in the league. He will need to improve in that category for Oakland to remain a force in the AFC.

Staying Healthy

The biggest improvement Karl Joseph can make is found in his durability. Joseph suffered an ACL injury in his final season with Iowa State and hobbled into the 2016 season. During his first campaign with the Raiders, he injured his big toe. His availability and improvement will be essential for both the Raiders success and Karl’s as well. If he is able to stay active, then Joseph may add another bright light to the Black Hole.