Report: Karl Joseph “Pretty Much Set” As Raiders Starting Safety

When Jon Gruden took the job in Oakland, he didn’t know what he’d be working with on defense – especially at the safety position. Recent draft picks like Karl Joseph and Obi Melifonwu have been inconsistent in their short time with the Raiders and it led Gruden to add veteran safety Michael Gilchrist and re-sign Reggie Nelson, who will be 35 in September.

A handful of offseason reports seemed to suggest that the new coaching staff wasn’t sold on Joseph and questioned whether he’d be an ideal fit for defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s defense. Considering his skill set and first-round draft status, the idea of Joseph not being on the field in his third year was particularly disappointing.

But Joseph was adamant that his best was yet to come.

“I don’t even feel like I’ve scratched the surface yet,” Joseph said of himself in June. “I feel like I have so much more room for improvement in almost every area of my game. I think I’ve improved as far as the mental part this offseason… I’m excited about this season, man. People haven’t even seen the real Karl Joseph yet.”

A full three weeks of training camp now in the books, and The Athletic’s Vic Tafur seems to believe Joseph has separated from the competition in the Raiders secondary.

“In the past I’ve said I thought [the safety position] was a rotation of Karl Joseph, Reggie Nelson, and [Marcus] Gilchrist,” Tafur said Friday on his State of the Nation podcast. “I kind of get the sense now that Karl is pretty much set there, so I think Reggie and Gilchrist will be rotating at safety. Erik Harris is also in the mix.”

As of now, the Raiders depth chart shows Joseph and Gilchrist as the starting safeties and Melifonwu, who is once again dealing with a mysterious injury, looks like a long shot to make the final roster.

twitter: @raidersbeat


2 thoughts on “Report: Karl Joseph “Pretty Much Set” As Raiders Starting Safety

  1. To think we could’ve had Zach Cunningham, Juju Smith, Alvin Kamara, or Kareem Hunt, among others.

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