Karl Joseph 2016 NFL Draft Profile

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Position: Safety
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 205 pounds
Bench: 19 reps
School: West Virginia Mountaineers

Karl Joseph 2016 NFL Draft Profile

Joseph was having  a year that was almost certainly going to lead him to the first round of the NFL draft before a non-contact ACL injury sidelined him after just four games into his senior season. Joseph was recruited out of Orlando, Floirda in 2011, and at the time of his commitment he was seen as an average three-star recruit, and was the 30th ranked safety in the country.

Joseph came in and almost immediately proved that he was overlooked out of high school. He started as a true freshman, being the first Mountaineer to do so since 2008. In fact, until the day of his injury, Joseph had not missed a single start in his West Virginia career. In 2012, he set a career high for himself with 104 tackles, seven for loss, one sack and two interceptions. He also was named the Mountaineers defensive player of the year as a freshman, and was an honorable mention for the All-Big 12 team.

Joseph took that momentum into year number two as a starter. That year he recorded 68 tackles, three for loss, and an interception in his sophomore year. That was enough to name him to the honorable mention for the All-Big 12 team.

Joseph became a known commodity by his junior year. That year he recorded 82 tackles, four for loss, and recorded an interception and forced three fumbles. That, along with 37 consectutive starts and a lead role in the defense had him named to the All-Big 12 first team.

His senior opened up somehow as the best of his storied career. He posted a career high five interceptions in only four games of his 2015 season. He had 20 tackles and two for loss at the time of his injury, and would have been a consensus all Big-12 performer, and more than likely was on pace for an All-American season. It is unfortunate to see such a strong season end so early, but for his draft stocks sake the injury happened early into this season, and he expects to be back into full swing by the start of the 2016 season at the latest due to the timing.


  • Punishing hitter, always looks for contact
  • Can play center field and in the box
  • Has experience and success in the slot and in man
  • Played a variety of roles, positions, and alignments
  • Equally as strong in the pass as the run
  • Solid all around tackler


  • Obvious ACL concerns
  • A bit undersized for an NFL strong safety
  • Relies on the big hit a bit too much
  • Can hold his own, but will never be shut down in man

NFL Pro Comparison: Kenny Vaccaro

Teams with need at position:  Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, San Dieago Chargers, Carolina Panthers

Projection: Late first to mid second

Bottom Line

The fact that I am not a doctor makes this a hard one. He claims that he will be ready for the start of training camp. If this is true then he will have a great chance to start for his team from day one. If he is starting from day one he is still a first round pick caliber in my opinion. There may be concerns with a starting safety playing so physical after the injury, but as mentioned it was a non-contact injury and had nothing to do with his style of play. He has a strong overall game and is just some refining away from being a high qualtiy safety. His versatility, combination of skills, and of course the big hits that he can lay make him a safety that any team with a need would love to have, and if they can trust his medical records they will be more than happy they selected him when they did.