Can Karl Joseph cap off a questionable secondary?
The Oakland Raiders could easily be a Super Bowl contender this season, thanks largely to quarterback Derek Carr, wide receiver Amari Cooper and running back Marshawn Lynch, who returns from retirement to his boyhood team.
Oakland’s front seven, featuring defenders Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin, are solid enough. But the biggest question mark remains in the secondary.
For the past few years, the Raiders have attempted to find long-term pieces within the defensive backfield around which to build. And with little luck.
Second-year safety Karl Joseph will be a key member in getting this group formulated correctly. He managed one interception and six passes defended last year, and he has the leadership capabilities to turn rookies, like cornerback Gareon Conley and safety Obi Melifonwu, into something special.
With a move to Las Vegas on the horizon, the Raiders’ chances to get deep into the postseason in front of a passionate Oakland-based fanbase are right now.
If it happens, the secondary will have to be a primary reason why.