Four Takeaways WVU Fans Need to Know About Karl Joseph's Move to Cleveland
Anthony G. Halkias
Karl Joseph served as a ferocious human highlight while patrolling the secondary during his time in Morgantown. However, the 14th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft hasn't quite lived up to the expectations of a first rounder, but the door hasn't closed, yet.
In his first four seasons with the Raiders, Joseph played in 49 games (starting 41), totaling 236 tackles, five QB hits, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
While those numbers aren't jaw dropping, they hold value. Joseph has battled the infamous injury bug during, not only his NFL career, but also his collegiate career. In Morgantown, Joseph was having a stellar senior season before being sidelined with a season-ending knee injury. Despite the adversity, Joseph managed to get drafted as a top 15 pick, an impressive feat considering he played in less than four games his senior season.
This season for the Raiders, Joseph was finally making that leap. Despite playing four less games than he did in 2018, Joseph had more tackles, pass deflections and the same amount of interceptions. However, in a game against the Chargers in week ten, Joseph had ice in his veins by intercepting Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers to win the game, 26-24. Keeping the glass half-full, adversity returned, sending Joseph to the injured reserved list, halting his breakout season.
Joseph was acquired this offseason by the Cleveland Browns. Here are four things all West Virginia fans need to know about Joseph's move to Cleveland.
1.) The Browns Depleted Secondary
Before picking up Joseph, Cleveland's secondary consisted of Sheldrick Redwine and J.T. Hassell. The three other defensive backs on the Browns depth chart have left or are free agents, meaning this move is going to be an incredible opportunity for Joseph. Right now, it appears that Joseph's role is about to expand exponentially.
Joseph has faced a few severe injuries during his playing career, but he has never let that define him. In the aforementioned WVU career ending injury, Joseph found a way. This move to Cleveland isn't anything new for the 26-year old. Fresh off the injured reserve list, Joseph has a lot to prove.
3.) He WILL be Missed in Vegas
While the injury bug was always a minor concern, Joseph's potential was always evident. Even after a season-ending foot injury, Raiders fans were not excited to see the former Mountaineer walk. Several Raider pundits wrote blogs and articles detailing why Vegas must keep Joseph, equating to the simple fact that the breakup wasn't mutual.
4.) Times Could be Changing?
The Browns have not been relevant in several years, but that is subject to change. While Cleveland didn't live up to the hype this past season, they have once again, cleaned house. A fresh start in the organization could seriously help spark a turnaround in a recently cursed franchise and Joseph has a chance to lead the charge. He will have an opportunity to be a leader on defense, if he can stay healthy, expect a big year from Joseph in Cleveland.