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2016 NFL Draft: Should the Giants overlook Karl Joseph's injury?

West Virginia's Karl Joseph was having a fantastic season before his season ended early with injury. Could he still be worth a draft pick?

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The New York Giants cannot seem to keep their secondary healthy. Despite drafting four safeties in the last two years, three of them finished the 2015 season on the injured reserve. The injury depleted secondary proved an easy target as the Giants had one of the worst defensive performances in league history.

They will likely look to add a veteran starting free safety in free agency, but they could also once again look to the draft. Karl Joseph was one of the premier safety prospects in the country before his season was ended by a torn ACL.

Let's take a closer look to see if he could be worth a pick.


Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 198 pounds


  • Versatile safety. Is a natural centerfielder, but is also comfortable playing downhill in run support or blitzing.
  • Instinctive, with fast reflexes and good closing speed.
  • Developing ball skills, notched five interceptions in four games before injury in 2015
  • Very physical player, explosive hitter who has forced eight fumbles in his career at WVU, and doesn't hesitate a bit, even taking on offensive linemen.
  • Generally a reliable tackler as well as a big hitter


  • Suffered a torn ACL in practice after the fourth game of the season (October 7)
  • Doesn't have elite size or athleticism.
  • While generally reliable, his aggression can put him in bad positions.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - Not in Top 50

Mocking The Draft - 52nd

CBS - 112th

Draft Tek - 76th

Does He Fit With the Giants?

The Giants need help in the back end of their defense, and Joseph is both one of the biggest hitters in college football and, before his injury, one of the biggest playmakers.

But that injury is the sticking point. The Giants already have a trio of young, talented, but injured safeties on their roster. While Joseph would likely make a good addition to the Giants roster, particularly if Bennett Jackson or Mykkele Thompson can't make it back from their injuries (torn ACL and torn Achilles respectively). However, the Giants will have to hope to address the free safety position with a healthier and more experienced player.

Final Thoughts

Joseph is a fun player. He just flies around the field, committing instantly and fully to his play. He's also a very good tackler, especially considering a lot of the tackling coming out of college lately -- although that is another matter entirely.

Had he not been injured and continued on the course he set for himself in the first third of the season, he very well could be in the conversation as a first-round player.

If he can come back well from his injury, Joseph could be a great value for whichever team picks him.