The Raiders made their first selection of the 2016 NFL Draft on Thursday. With the pick, they drafted West Virginia safety Karl Joseph.
College: West Virginia
Selection: First round, No. 14 overall
College career: Joseph was a four-year starter who became a respected team captain with the Mountaineers. He was an All-Big 12 player as a junior and had five interceptions before tearing his ACL in the fifth game of his senior season. That kept him out the rest of the season. He started every game his first two seasons, and had all-conference honors then. He recorded 284 tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles, nine interceptions and seven passes defensed in his college career.
Scouting report: Joseph is known as an intense football player extremely committed to his craft. He is a big hitter willing to sacrifice his body for a big play, though he has quality instincts and plays smart and takes proper angles. He’s a ball hawk in the back, versatile enough to play deep or in the box. There is some concern whether he’ll be the same player upon returning from ACL surgery, and he has some technique breakdowns at times.
How he fits: Safety was the Raiders’ biggest need, though Joseph was projected as a late first-round pick at best, with a likelihood he would last until the second round. The Raiders have veteran safeties in Nate Allen and Reggie Nelson better as free safeties, and Joseph is a strong safety in ability and mentality. After losing Charles Woodson to retirement, the Raiders need some leaders in the secondary. Joseph could grow into that role as he gains experience.
Next scheduled pick: Second round, No. 44 overall (Friday).