Scouting the NFL Draft: DB Karl Joseph

Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
Ht. 5'10", Wt. 205, Arm: 32 ⅛", Hand: 9 ¾", Bench: -
40 yd: -, 10 yd.: -, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: -, Broad: -
Games Watched: Alabama (2014), Maryland, Oklahoma

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West Virginia safety Karl Joseph burst onto the Big 12 scene as a freshman, leading the team in tackles, forced fumbles and INTs. He also earned freshman All-America honors and was named the Mountaineers' Defensive Player of the Year. During his next two seasons, he set the school record for forced fumbles and totaled 150 tackles, 7 TFLs and 2 INTs, earning all-conference honors each year.

Joseph opted to return for his senior season, which looked like a wise choice when he recorded five interceptions, 20 tackles, 2 TFLs and a sack in the first four games. The decision backfired when he suffered a season-ending knee injury during a non-contact drill during an October practice, though. He was also unable to run at the NFL Combine in February.


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• Disruptive - Playmaker, nose for ball
• Speed - Flys to the ball
• Physical - Plays bigger than his size
• Catch Point - Wins with ball in air
• Versatile - Lined up as CB, S, LB
• Big Hitter - Looks to punish ball carriers
• Attitude - Feisty competitor
• Smart - Makes pre-snap adjustments


• Size - Undersized for position, style
• Injury - Medicals must be evaluated
• Overly Aggressive - Can be fooled by misdirection
• Tackling - Inconsistent technique, misses at times
• Instincts - Slow to diagnose post-snap at times.

Verdict: Second-Round Pick

Joseph is a weapon in the mold of Tyrann Mathieu. He's not really an ideal cornerback or an ideal safety, but an NFL team will be rewarded if they put him in their defensive backfield and let him make plays. If his knee checks out, he could make an early impact in the NFL.

Because of the Cowboys' needs in the secondary, versatile defensive backs like Joseph make a lot of sense. He and Byron Jones would give the Dallas defense a lot of flexibility and the ability to disguise coverages. Joseph has a lot of first-round traits, but his injury and durability concerns make him a second-round value.

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