With the 14th pick in the NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select Karl Joseph out of West Virginia University.
One thing is for certain with this selection, the Raiders just become a lot better on defense.
Karl Joseph, “an intimidator” as draft expert Mel Kiper called him on ESPN, can step in immediately and make a difference in the team’s secondary. With the Raiders’ patented “Black Hole” fanbase, Joseph fits the aura of the franchise and can be a key component of Oakland’s rebuilding process.
The pick, which came higher than most mock drafts had Joseph, surprised a few people. For the most part, though, WVU football fans and Raiders fans, alike, seem happy with Joseph at this spot.
"Karl Joseph is a cool pick up"
The main this with Joseph is, of course, his health. He has not played in a football game since October. The rehabilitation of his knee seems to be on-pace and maybe even ahead of schedule. He was invited to the NFL Combine but unable to really show off his true intangibles because he was still impeded by the ailment.
Before his injury, Joseph had a three-year career with the Mountaineers that will be remembered for a long time. He recorded more than 200 total tackles, forced eight fumbles and picked off nine passes. Joseph’s ability speaks for itself.
Some players are able to help their draft stock with strong showings in pre-draft camps, combines or pro days, but Joseph’s ranking was already quite high because of how well he played in games.
He was a major force in helping the WVU football team adapt to the Big 12 Conference and because of Joseph’s ability on defense, he set the unit up for future success in years to come.
Joseph will be a Mountaineer legend. He is already confident that he can become a major playmaker in the NFL.
"“I believe it,” Joseph told the Gazette-Mail. “I wanted to remind everyone and I wanted them to believe it. I believe my film speaks for itself. There are three-plus years of film. When I say it, it’s not cocky. I’m a very humble guy, but it’s what I believe in. I don’t care who it is, I feel like you’re on the field with me, you’ve got to prove you’re better than me. I don’t think too many people can do that.”"
Joseph didn’t need a strong 40-time or an impressive vertical jump. His play on the field did the talking.
He says he’s not cocky. In fact, Joseph may be one of the most humble players available in this year’s draft. On Senior Day, Joseph was emotional walking out of the tunnel and into a throng of cheers by the Mountaineer faithful at Milan Puskar Stadium.
We’d all like to know what could have been if Joseph was able to play his full senior season. Now, as an Oakland Raider, his Mountaineer spirit can live on and grow stronger on the sport’s biggest stage.