Karl Joseph turning into a star in his fourth year with Raiders

Don’t look now, but the Raiders might have a player in Karl Joseph after all. For some reason it’s been a challenge for Joseph to get any of the coaching staffs in Oakland to appreciate him, but it looks like it might finally be happening in his fourth year.

The Raiders are finally using Joseph in a full-time role and the former first-round pick really made his presence known in Indianapolis on Sunday. He earned the third-highest Pro Football Focus grade on Paul Guenther’s defense this week and especially stood out around the line of scrimmage against the Colts.

Among the plays that stood out on Sunday were these…

Ryan Holmes on Twitter

@_IamKJ8 Karl Joseph (@_IamKJ8) again coming down into the box, comes thru B gap, navigates traffic to make stop. Slippery in the hole. #Raiders #Raidernation https://t.co/o8bCy0n3tG

Considering his size, it’s particularly impressive that Joseph is able to operate in the box the way he does – a little like Troy Polamalu at times.

After four games, Joseph already has more tackles for loss (3) than in any of his three full seasons in the league. He is the highest-graded run defender in the Raiders starting lineup according to Pro Football Focus, and only two players (Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley) have played more defensive snaps than Joseph.

In pass coverage, Joseph has shown real improvement this year, as well. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the top safety on the team in coverage – though that isn’t necessary saying a lot considering the struggles that Lamarcus Joyner and Curtis Riley have had in coverage.

It’s been refreshing to see Joseph play with confidence and equally as refreshing to see a coaching staff finally buying into him. The next secret to let Guenther in on will be Joseph’s effectiveness as a blitzer. Joseph has rushed the quarterback only five times in 238 defensive snaps – which unquestionably translates to “not quite enough.”

For what it’s worth, the Raiders declined their option on Joseph’s fifth year in his rookie deal so he’ll be a free agent after the season. Maybe one of the reasons we’re seeing such an elevation in his game of late?

Whatever the reason for his emergence, the Raiders badly need Joseph to keep it up. Among the offenses the Raiders still face this season are Chicago, Green Bay, Kansas City, San Diego, and Houston.

twitter: @raidersbeat


3 thoughts on “Karl Joseph turning into a star in his fourth year with Raiders

  1. I’ve been love Karl Joseph since college. When he played my college team Alabama “Roll Tide”” with Kevin White on offense. I knew then he was a hard hitting safety and will prove it with right coaching staff, instead of a new coach every year like DC. With that being said, I been loving his style of play.

  2. Maybe one of the reasons we’re seeing such an elevation in his game of late?
    Before that you stated he could not get full time play ! Which is it ???
    Gruden is a idiot and not the genius everyone taught he was , I hope he gets a big contract from someone else and Gruden keeps drafting 💩

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