Karl Joseph   S/CB   West Virginia

Karl is another one of the safeties in this draft class who can play any defensive back position for the team that selects him. He is a quick twitch athlete with excellent hands to intercept the ball as he adjusts to it in the air. He is physical and will not hesitate to come up in support against the run. Karl is a playmaker and makes most of his impact plays in coverage. He is used up on the line of scrimmage as well as off the line and at times in single free safety because of his quickness to react to the play. Karl has good overall size and, because of his leaping ability, he will be an asset in coverage against bigger receivers in the red zone. There is no doubt that Karl can become an impact defensive back for the team that selects him in this draft IF he can stay healthy.

Karl is not able to work out because of a knee injury but that is not really my issue. The issue I have is his style of play on the field. Karl is an accident waiting to happen if he is used as a safety. As a safety, he is a head hunter throwing himself dangerously around, missing tackles, dropping his head before impact and in general, is a training table away from the nearest hospital. If he is used as a cornerback I think most of these issues go away and Karl will have a Patrick Peterson like career. Up on the line of scrimmage he can be handled with pulling guards and swallowed up, missing tackles and not recognizing who has the ball because he is always dropping his head when engaging in blocking or tackling. Out on the corners he is a dominant cover corner keeping players off him and making better form tackles.

I think I will start a program and call it “Save the Karl program” – that is, save Karl from himself. Karl has the talent, athleticism to play anywhere in your defensive backfield, but I suggest to keep him alive you play him at corner where he can dominate in coverage and not fly all over the field throwing himself head first into players in a fashion that will get him hurt, hurt another player or get thrown out or penalized for dangerous play. Someone needs to save this kid from himself because he doesn’t need to play this way to impact. All Karl has to do is be used in coverage where his natural, quick twitch athletic talent will let him intercept balls and make plays. He’s an impact player as long as you can keep him from impacting other players head first. He has excellent cover skills and is physical; I believe he has the talent to be the type of corner that Patrick Peterson is. Later in his career when he gains some maturity and learns to tackle better, he can be moved to a safety position; however, early in his career, you need to make sure you save him from himself and use him as a cornerback. When healthy, Karl is a top 15 player on my board, but for the purposes of this draft I think he will be selected much later so look for him on Rob’s board. Regardless of where he’s selected, he’ll still be an impact player; I just think his best chances to impact will be at the corner position.

Drew Boylhart  APR.2016