The Oakland Raiders entered this offseason with major questions in their secondary. On Thursday, they hope they found the answer to their future at strong safety.
The Raiders selected West Virginia product Karl Joseph with the No. 14 overall pick in a move that continues a smart team-building trend in Oakland:
OAKLAND RAIDERS @RAIDERS
With the 14th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, we've selected... Karl Joseph, DB from West Virginia! https://t.co/VB5t890vxD2016-4-29 01:51:09
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Joseph is perhaps the hardest-hitting safety in the entire class. He made a name for himself at West Virginia, from the moment he walked onto campus until the moment he limped off. He recorded five interceptions and 20 tackles in four games last season before he suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Phil Murphy of ESPN likened him to a throwback Raiders player:
Phil Murphy @Phil_Sports
Karl Joseph plays like an 80s Raider. The pick made too much sense. You hope the knee proves to be OK; he plays a fun style of football.2016-4-29 01:51:55
Any time you get a Kanye reaction GIF, you know something has gone right:
Mountaineer Maniacs @WVUMANIACS
Karl Joseph to the Raiders! https://t.co/baupz2XnI02016-4-29 01:54:23
Adam Schein of SiriusXM is already prepared to give the Raiders the AFC West:
Adam Schein @AdamSchein
So which team is going to finish 2nd in the AFC West behind the Raiders?2016-4-29 01:53:36
Others, however, weren't so pleased. The Raiders signed safety Reggie Nelson earlier this offseason and still have holes elsewhere. Just Blog Baby wanted a linebacker:
Just Blog Baby @JustBlogBaby
The Raiders also signed a safety this offseason, they did not sign a starter at middle linebacker. Don't agree with the value.2016-4-29 01:54:10
Here is a look at the best of the remaining reactions:
Josephine Skriver @JosephinSkriver
Karl Joseph!!! So freaking excited mini Woodson in the making @RAIDERS !! And kind of my name backwards 😂😂2016-4-29 01:53:49
Guy Haberman @GuyHaberman
Coliseum gonna go bananas when Karl Joseph cuts someone in half #Raiders2016-4-29 01:53:25
trey wingo @wingoz
The Raiders continue their recent string of great drafting. Karl Joseph is a flat out hammer2016-4-29 01:51:09
Karl Joseph would have been a perfect Steeler. He'll be an ideal Raider.2016-4-29 01:57:57
Abdul Memon @abdulamemon
This is who the Raiders got 😳😳 https://t.co/H0pPxz7obv2016-4-29 01:56:47
The Raiders now boast one of the NFL's most promising young cores. Joseph joins Khalil Mack and D.J. Hayden, making three defensive players taken in the last four years on the defensive side. Oakland was quietly a 7-9 unit last season, and Joseph has the goods to step in right away if he fully recovers from knee surgery.
As it stands, there are still a few holes on the roster. But the Raiders are in better shape than they've been in a long, long time. Now if they could just find a long-term home for their games.
Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.