Karl Joseph is about to experience something new. The Raiders safety is set to complete his first NFL offseason program. It’s something he missed as a rookie while recovering from surgery to repair an ACL originally torn at West Virginia.
That didn’t stop the Raiders from draft Joseph No. 14 overall in 2016, as the first safety off the board.
He didn’t return to action until training camp, and was eased into regular-season game action. Joseph’s first start marked his first defensive NFL snaps, and it was a place occupied most of the season. A Week 13 injury put him back on the shelf and kept him there until the playoffs.
He returned in a wild card round loss at Houston after a tough bout with turf toe, but didn’t finish as strong as he planned. He ultimately finished with 60 tackles and an interception in nine regular-season starts. He ended up on PFWA’s all-rookie team, but expected better.
He’s excited to start the Raiders offseason program next week. Head coach Jack Del Rio believes that will prelude an improved sophomore season.
“Karl is going to take a big step forward this year in his development, just with comfort and an understanding of what’s expected of him,” Del Rio said. “Coming in, being healthy and having a full body of work, I feel like a confident Karl Joseph is going to be a much more impactful guy.”