Joseph intercepting a pass with the Browns in 2020
|No. 42 - Cleveland Browns|
|Born:||September 8, 1993|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||200 lb (91 kg)|
|High school:||Edgewater (Orlando, Florida)|
|NFL Draft:||2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 14|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 7, 2020|
Karl Myrthell Joseph (born September 8, 1993) is an American football strong safety for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at West Virginia. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Joseph started all 13 games as a true freshman at West Virginia in 2012, recording 104 tackles, two interceptions, and one sack. He started all 12 games his sophomore year and had 68 tackles and one interception. He again started all 13 games as a junior in 2014, recording 92 tackles and one interception. Joseph started the first four games his senior year in 2015, before suffering a season-ending knee injury. At the time of the injury, he was leading the nation with five interceptions.
Coming out of West Virginia, Joseph was projected by the majority of NFL draft experts and scouts to be a second or third round pick. He received an invitation to the NFL combine, but was unable to perform any physical drills due to a knee injury he suffered in October. On April 4, 2016, he was among 22 prospects who performed at West Virginia's pro day, that included Wendell Smallwood, K. J. Dillon, Nick Kwiatkoski, and Daryl Worley. He performed the bench press and met with coaches, team representatives, and scouts from all 32 NFL teams, that included Pittsburgh Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin. Joseph was ranked the second best strong safety prospect in the draft by DraftScout.com and was ranked the seventh best defensive back prospect by Sports Illustrated.
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump||Bench press|
|5 ft in
|All values are from NFL Combine, except bench press from Pro Day|
|Raiders draft Joseph 14th overall|
Joseph competed with veterans T. J. Carrie and Nate Allen throughout training camp for the vacant starting strong safety role after the departure of Larry Asante. Head coach Jack Del Rio named Joseph the backup strong safety to Nate Allen to begin the 2016 season.
He made his professional regular season debut in the Oakland Raiders' season-opening 35-34 win at the New Orleans Saints. On September 25, 2016, Joseph made his first career start and recorded a season-high ten combined tackles in the Raiders' 17-10 victory at the Tennessee Titans. On October 9, 2016, he collected six combined tackles, defended a pass, and made his first career interception off of Philip Rivers during a 34-31 victory over the San Diego Chargers. During a Week 12 contest against the Houston Texans, Joseph recorded a season-high nine solo tackles in the Raiders' 27-20 victory. During a Week 13 matchup against the Buffalo Bills, Joseph collected four combined tackles, but left the game after suffering an apparent toe injury that would cause him to miss the last four games of the season (Weeks 14-17). He finished the season with 60 combined tackles (44 solo), six pass deflections, and intercepted one pass in 12 games and nine starts. He was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team after a strong rookie season. Pro Football Focus gave him an overall grade of 75.5, ranking him 50th among all qualifying safeties in 2016. He also received a coverage grade of 79.6, which ranked 29th.
The Oakland Raiders received a playoff berth after finishing second in the AFC West with a 12-4 record. On January 7, 2017, Joseph started in his first career playoff game and recorded four solo tackles as the Raiders lost 14-27 to the Houston Texans in the AFC Wildcard game.
He started the Oakland Raiders' season-opener at the Tennessee Titans and recorded a season-high nine combined tackles and a pass deflection during their 26-16 victory. The following week, Joseph recorded five combined tackles, his first career sack, and forced a fumble by New York Jets' quarterback Josh McCown, that he would recover to set up the Raiders' offense on an eventual touchdown scoring drive. They went on to defeat the Jets 45-20. On September 24, 2017, he collected a season-high eight solo tackles and assisted on a tackle in a 10-27 loss to the Washington Redskins. On October 19, 2017, Joseph recorded four combined tackles and a pass deflection, but exited the Raiders' 31-30 victory at the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter after sustaining an injury. He was sidelined for the Raiders' Week 8 loss to the Buffalo Bills due to a groin injury. In Week 14, Joseph made three solo tackles, deflected a pass, and intercepted a pass by Alex Smith during a 26-15 loss at the Kansas City Chiefs. On December 31, 2017, the Oakland Raiders fired head coach Jack Del Rio and finished third in the AFC West with a 6-10 record. He finished the 2017 season with 79 combined tackles (58 solo), four pass deflections, an interception, and a sack in 15 games and 15 starts.Pro Football Focus gave Joseph an overall grade of 80.8, ranking him 35th among all qualified safeties in 2017.
In Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals, Joseph made his first interception of the season off quarterback Josh Rosen in a 23-21 Raiders win. He finished the season playing in 13 games with eight starts, recording 48 combined tackles, two sacks, two passes defensed, and one interception. In the first eight weeks of the season, Joseph played only eleven snaps. During the trade deadline, it was speculated that the Raiders would be moving on from Joseph. Starting from week 11, Joseph's play improved and he finished the season as the Raiders' highest graded defender according to Pro Football Focus. He received an overall grade of 74.5 from Pro Football Focus in 2018, which ranked as the 23rd highest grade among all safeties.
On May 2, 2019, the Raiders declined the fifth-year option on Joseph's contract, making him a free agent in 2020. He was named a starting safety to start the 2019 season. In week 10 against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football, Joseph recorded an interception off Philip Rivers late in the fourth quarter which sealed a 26-24 win. During the interception, Joseph injured his foot. He started the first nine games before suffering a foot injury in Week 10. He was placed on injured reserve on November 9, 2019. He finished the season with three passes defensed, an interception, and 49 tackles, which was second on the team at the time.
On April 13, 2020, Joseph signed a one-year contract with the Cleveland Browns. He was placed on the active/physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp on August 3, 2020, and activated from the list five days later.