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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers select safety Karl Joseph

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With the 25th overall pick in the 2016 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Pittsburgh Steelers GM theaction selects ...

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia

With the 25th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers Select….Karl "The Hitman" Joseph, Safety, West Virginia. Did I hear that correctly? Don’t you mean [insert any linebackers name here]?? For the first time since 2003 the Pittsburgh Steelers have drafted a DB in the first round. Ironically, that last DB was Troy Polamalu who Karl Joseph reminds me so much of.

Who is Karl Joseph aka The Hitman?

Height: 5’ 11’’

Weight: ~200 LBS (sources differ between 195 LBS and 205 LBS)

Stats:

2012 - 76 solo tackles, 28 asst tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 interceptions

2013 - 55 solo tackles, 13 asst tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 4 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble

2014 - 55 solo tackles, 27 asst tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles

2015 (4 games!) - 15 solo tackles, 5 asst tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 5 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery

But he’s coming off an ACL tear, you’re absolutely nuts to "reach" on him in the first round.

I’m pretty sure that Myles Jack is coming off a major knee injury and is expected to be taken in the top 5. Jaylon Smith is expected to be taken in the top 10, and he’s already being labeled a redshirt rookie cause of possible nerve damage to his knee. So why not Joseph at 25? Its 2016 people, these doctors are repairing ACL’s in their sleep. Tearing your ACL now is like sending a NSFW email to your boss. Sucks that it happened, you’ll probably face some disciplinary action, but over time things will heal and you’ll go back to be their A1 performer. If not for his injury Joseph wouldn’t even make it out of the top 10. Keep in mind that THE Dr. James Andrews is the one who performed the surgery. The same guy who repaired Todd Gurley’s knee, Drew Brees’ shoulder, he even repaired McNabb’s knee.

Hmmm sure, ok? I still don’t think the he’s worth the risk that high……

Karl Joseph is the best Safety in this year’s draft, and would have been in last years had he declared. Rumor has it that Dede Westbrook is hosting a draft party with the rest of the Big 12 to for Joseph. Since starting as a true freshman, Joseph has been absolutely terrorizing offenses flying around like a mad man knocking the snot out of people. Some even say he killed a man in Texas. He was a very vocal team leader and voted captain for 2 straight years. Sounds like a great leader to me, can we put that in a spider chart?

There really is no in between with Joseph like there is with most Safeties. What I mean is, typically with Safeties they are either good in coverage, and are OK in run support, and vice versa. With Joseph you get the complete package. He is excellent in run support, almost like another linebacker. Even when he isn’t delivering big hits, he’s able to breakdown and wrap-up to make the play. Great in both man and zone coverage. A natural ball hawk with good sideline to sideline speed. There are times when he over pursues, but as is the story with the rest of the great Safeties. He quickly diagnoses plays and closes in to disrupt, probably the most important attribute to any Safety.

Ok, but there’s no way at his size he can sustain the way he plays without regard for his body in the NFL.

So funny because the same things were said about Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed, and Ronnie Lott who all were similar in size, played very physical, and had long decorated careers. Earl Thomas also received this unfair criticism, pretty sure all 32 teams would love to have an Earl Thomas.

Alright, let’s assume I’m drinking the Karl Joseph kool-aid. You’ve got one big problem, the Pittsburgh Steelers. They don’t draft DBs this high, aside from Polamalu, the last DB they drafted in the first round was almost 20 years ago. The Steeler way is invest heavily in the front 7 and everything else will happen on its own. You think they are all of a sudden going to use a first round pick on one coming of a major injury???

Quite frankly, Joseph perfectly complements all of the hard word they’ve done rebuilding that front 7. He will add another dimension of physical nastiness that the Steelers defenses have tried to maintain for the past 10 years. Joseph would be the first piece to give an identity to the Steelers secondary the same way Troy did for them, the same way Dawkins did for us, etc. The front 7 is solid with young talent built through the draft. Now’s the time to start building up the back end starting with an elite Safety. Some will argue that they should be looking for an elite CB here, but scheme says otherwise. The Steelers love to blitz their Safeties and rely on them in run support, of course another thing Joseph has proven he can do. In a mediocre secondary like the Steelers, a Safety that can stick people in the run game and cover sideline to sideline outgains a CB.

Not that this matters, but can anyone name a single player in the Steelers secondary?

Uhhh Tro, no wait, uhhh Ike Ta, no no he’s gone, uhh Rod Woo, crap no he’s been gone

Yea, and aside from everyone over at Behind the Steel Curtain, Steelers Nation can’t either. Mike Mitchell is a Ryan Clark with more speed and more dumb penalties. Other than that, no one worth mentioning. First time Joseph lays the wood on someone Nike won’t be able to make enough of his jerseys.

I would climb mountains for the Eagles to draft Joseph, but the need isn’t there after signing Rodney McLeod (who likes to lay the wood too!). If the Steelers don’t draft Karl Joseph here the Panthers will be licking their chops at #30. There’s even potential for the Bengals to snag him before them at #24. If he ends up falling to the second round he becomes an instant steal and will not last long. I see no point in taking that risk. No matter where Karl Joseph ends up, that team is getting an impact player.

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2016 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Titans (ablesser88) - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss - [Explanation]
2) Browns (EaglesGenius) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State - [Explanation]
3) Chargers (StoneColeKiller58) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal - [Explanation]
4) Cowboys (kamjam) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
5) Jaguars (drc242) - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State - [Explanation]
6) Ravens (rohan915) - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon - [Explanation]
7) 49ers (LAOJoe) - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA - [Explanation]
8) Eagles (slickpablovick) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame - [Explanation]
9) Buccaneers (OneBucFan47) - Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky - [Explanation]
10) Giants (Paulie97) - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida - [Explanation]
11) Bears (Kiko's Delivery Service) - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State - [Explanation]
12) Saints (kylebruneault) - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson - [Explanation]
13) Dolphins (wildcatlh) - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
14) Raiders (Luxury_Used_Vehicles_By_Braman) - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State - [Explanation]
15) Rams (NowWhat?) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis - [Explanation]
16) Lions (bri g) - Jason Sprigs, OT, Indiana - [Explanation]
17) Falcons (thealien2696) - Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
18) Colts (ei78) - Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame - [Explanation]
19) Bills (naderg43) - Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville - [Explanation]
20) Jets (Quacking_Eagle) - Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia - [Explanation]
21) Washington (TheCoxishere) - Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama - [Explanation]
22) Texans (jeppsforst) - Josh Doctson, WR, TCU - [Explanation]
23) Vikings (WScott151) - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss - [Explanation]
24) Bengals (burkhart_b) - Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor - [Explanation]
25) Steelers (theaction) - Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia - [Explanation]
26) Seahawks (tfrank9811) -
27) Packers (3Trace) -
28) Chiefs (jawmo) -
N/A) Patriots - Cheaters
29) Cardinals (big DUB) - 
30) Panthers (zatch2k) -
31) Broncos (JALupowitz) -