Who will the Pittsburgh Steelers take in the second round of the NFL Draft?
In my first round mock draft, I had the Steelers selecting cornerback Mackensie Alexander out of Clemson. Though the addition of Alexander is a great upgrade to the corner position, the team may not be done bolstering their struggling secondary in this draft.
And for that reason, we have the Steelers selecting a safety in the second round in the 2016 draft. There a multiple guys the Black & Gold could take here, but we have the team selecting a safety that played just 45 minutes away from the Steel City, West Virginia’s Karl Joseph.
One of the most experienced safeties in this draft, Joseph was a four year starter in Morgantown. His 2015 was cut to only 4 games after suffering a non-contact knee injury in practice. Prior to the injury, Joseph was on pace for a career year. In 4 games, the senior picked off 5 passes while racking up 20 tackles (2 for loss) and 1 sack. Coming into the season, Joseph had four picks in his entire Mountaineer career.
Over this career, Joseph has been known more for laying the wood on defenders than his hands. He was second on the team in 2014 with 92 tackles, earning him All-Big 12 first team honors. Joseph has been called pound-for-pound one of the most physical players in the country, playing with reckless abandon. His violent collisions have drawn gasps from fans and praises from his coaches.
A free safety most of his career, Joseph would join Mike Mitchell and Robert Golden on the depth chart. The Steelers may ask Joseph or Mitchell to make the switch to strong safety, which only has Shamarko Thomas. I believe Joseph could make the switch to strong safety, he has shown he can play that center field type spot in coverage. Having him there also may limit teams to throwing down middle versus the Steelers since Joseph can take a receivers head off.
If the Steelers do pull the trigger on Joseph, there is no doubt that he will become a fan favorite.