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Raiders bring back former first-round pick to bolster their secondary


The Las Vegas Raiders are bringing back their former first-round pick Karl Joseph.

The Las Vegas Raiders just can’t quit safety Karl Joseph, now can they?

After spending a season with the Cleveland Browns, Joseph has returned to the Silver and Black for a second go-around. The former West Virginia Mountaineers standout was taken by the then-Oakland Raiders with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. After three relatively disappointing seasons, Joseph had his fifth-year option declined ahead of the 2019 NFL season.

While it made sense for Joseph to leave for the Browns in his free agency last year due to the change of guard within the Raiders organization, seeing him come back to the Silver and Black is both interesting and concerning. Though he is familiar with how the Raiders do things, is this the best the Raiders can do this offseason to bolster their back-end of their defense ahead of the draft?

Karl Joseph fits Las Vegas Raiders’ defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s scheme

No matter how peculiar it is see to Joseph back with the Raiders, this is mostly about how he fits into their “new” defensive scheme under coordinator Gus Bradley. During his initial run with the Raiders, Joseph played in the same Cover 3 base scheme under fellow Pete Caroll disciple Ken Norton Jr. Bradley and Norton are among the handful of NFL coordinators who run this scheme.

Overall, the Raiders need to get better defensively fast if they want to make up any ground on the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West standings. While it remains to be seen what the Denver Broncos are in year three under Vic Fangio, the Los Angeles Chargers have themselves a franchise quarterback who looks to already be better than Derek Carr in second-year pro Justin Herbert.

If Joseph can play up to his potential, then he can have a renaissance of sorts in Raiders uniform.



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