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:
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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:
Any time you get a Kanye reaction GIF, you know something has gone right:
Adam Schein of SiriusXM is already prepared to give the Raiders the AFC West:
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:
Here is a look at the best of the remaining reactions:
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.